Shamus Khan

Professor of Sociology

Columbia University

My work is primarily within the areas of cultural sociology and stratification, with a strong focus on elites. I am the author of Privilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite at St. Paul’s School (Princeton 2011); The Practice of Research (Oxford 2013, with Dana Fisher), Approaches to Ethnography (Oxford 2017, with Colin Jerolmack) and am completing Exceptional: The Astors, Elite New York, and the Story of American Inequality (Princeton, forthcoming). I was the director of a Russell Sage Foundation working group on “The Political Influence of Economic Elites;” and the principal investigator on a Andrew W. Mellon Foundation project using the New York Philharmonic archives to uncover the character of their subscribers from the 1870s-present.  In addition to my primary focus, I also write in the areas of gender theory, deliberative politics, and research methodology. I am currently the co-PI (with Jennifer Hirsch) of the qualitative portion of SHIFT, a large scale research project on sexual assault and sexual health among Columbia University undergraduates. I recently served as an opinion columnist for Time Magazine and continue to write about sociology in the popular press. For more information, including links to my written work, see: