People

Emeritus Faculty

Curriculum Vitae

Paul Kingston

PROFESSOR EMERITUS

(Paul W. Kingston, (Ph.D. Columbia University, 1980) is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Virginia.

Prior to 2017, Kingston was Professor of Sociology, and by courtesy, Professor in the Curry School of Education.  He finished a three-year term as Chair of the Department of Sociology in August 2007. His primary interests are stratification; the sociology of education, especially the connection between schooling and stratification; the family, particularly the connection between work and family lives; and political sociology.

Kingston's recent work has been directed to the question, "Are there classes?" The Classless Society (Stanford University Press) draws on a large body of research to demonstrate that presumed 'classes' are diverse in family backgrounds, divided in their political and cultural orientations, and unconnected by common sentiments or interaction. And so class theory fails, he argues. This critique draws a sharp distinction between class structure and inequality (a persistent reality) and insists on a realist conception of class that treats class structuration as a multidimensional variable.

Kingston has analyzed, with four graduate student collaborators, why educational attainment is associated with so many social outcomes ("Why Education Matters," Sociology of Education). This research has developed from his earlier work on credentialism in the labor market (e.g., The High Status Track: Studies of Elite Schools and Stratification). He has just completed an analysis, "How Meritocratic is the U.S.?" He is currently working with Steve Nock on a NSF funded project, "The Distribution of obligations" - - a study of who feels obliged to help whom, with a particular concern for the relation between private and public responsibilities.

Kingston has previously served two terms as Chair of the department and has been actively involved in University affairs. He has served as an associate editor for Social Forces, Sociology of Education, and Journal of Family Issues. He frequently teaches Introductory Sociology.

Selected Publications

Books

Articles

S. Nock, P.W. Kingston, and L. Holian "The Distribution of Obligations," Caring and Exchange Within and Across Generations, A. Booth and A. Crouter (eds.), Washington, D.C.: The Urban Institute Press.

Office

University of Virginia Sociology Department
P.O. Box 400766
Charlottesville, VA 22904


Phone | Fax

(434) 924-7293 | (434) 924-7028


Email

pwk@virginia.edu

Courses

Undergraduate Level

  • SOC 1010 (101) - Introductory Sociology
  • SOC 2220 - Social Problems
  • SOC 3370 (337) - Schools and Society
  • SOC 4053 (453) - Sociology of Education
  • SOC 4420 (442) - Sociology of Inequality
  • SOC 4980/4981 (498) - Distinguished Majors Seminar

Graduate Level

  • SOC 5420 (542) - Social Stratification
  • SOC 7980/7981 - Graduate Research Workshop
  • SOC 8053 (553) - Sociology of Education
  • SOC 8030/8040 (803/804) - Seminar on Sociological Issues