CWI Workshop, Thursday, March 28, at 2 PM, Annette Lareau on “Schools, Housing, and the Reproduction of Inequality”

The Center for the Study of Wealth and Inequality is proud to present a talk by Professor Lareau on March 28, 2013, in Room 509 of Knox Hall.

She will discuss: “Schools, Housing, and the Reproduction of Inequality”


The choice of an elementary school is widely viewed as a consequential decision, but most studies of school choice focus on urban settings. In this paper, Annette Lareau draws on a newly-complete set of in-depth interviews with white and African-American parents living in suburbs of a Northeastern city. She reports that many parents reported that they choose their housing largely, if not exclusively, due to the quality of the schools, but the middle-class and upper-middle-class parents’ knowledge of the local schools is hazy rather than precise. In addition, most undertook research *after* they had settled on a neighborhood. Social networks were pivotal in parents’ decisions. The study of a crucial moment in parents’ lives highlight the relatively seamless way that social inequality can be reproduced.

Annette Lareau is the Stanley I. Sheerr Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. Before moving to Penn in 2008, she taught at the University of Maryland and Temple University. She is the author ofUnequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life which won a distinguished publication award from the Sociology of Family, Sociology of Childhood, and Sociology of Culture sections of the American Sociological Association. A second edition of Unequal Childhoods, with 100 new pages, was published in 2011; it provides a follow-up of the children into adulthood. In the current project, Annette Lareau is doing research (with Elliot Weininger of SUNY Brockport) on the role that school plays in residential decisions. During the 2012-2013 academic year, she is a residential fellow at the Russell Sage Foundation in New York. Annette Lareau is the President-Elect of the American Sociological Association; she will preside over the 109th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association in San Francisco in August 2014.


The Center for Wealth and Inequality talk series is sponsored by the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy at Columbia University. For more information on this series, please see:

The talk will be in room 509 of Knox Hall at 2pm. Knox Hall is in the southwest corner of the intersection of 122nd St. and Broadway (Enter from 122 St.)