Research

My research investigates how advantage and disadvantage are transmitted across generations by incorporating a amily perspective. Instead of focusing only on economic or educational outcomes, I draw attention to other important social and family processes such as marriage. Using statistical and demographic methods, I integrate ideas from social stratification, sociology of education, and sociology of the family to expose previously overlooked mechanisms for the persistence of inequality across generations.

My dissertation explores the relationships between social mobility, family formation, and intergenerational status transmission. I frame much of my work around the marriage experiences of first-generation college students to understand how those from relatively disadvantaged social origins fare in the marriage market given their upward educational mobility. Earning a college degree is often viewed as a marker of upward mobility, even being hailed as the “great equalizer,” but these claims are based on studies of economic and occupational status. Demographic processes, like marriage, also play an important role in social and economic stability in a way that has previously gone understudied. I show the importance of expanding the focus of stratification research beyond economic and occupational outcomes by highlighting how social (im)mobility and family formation are interrelated.

Teaching

I aim to help students develop strong critical thinking and problem solving skills through active learning and flexible teaching

Undergraduate course covering descriptive and inferential statistics

Intermediate undergraduates methods course covering practical research skills related to survey design and questionnaire development

Contact

  • mking@ssc.wisc.edu
  • 8128 Sewell Social Sciences Building
    1180 Observatory Drive
    Madison, WI 53706