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Kendra Bischoff

Assistant Professor
PhD 2011, Stanford University
Curriculum Vitae

Areas of Interest: Social Stratification, Sociology of Education, Urban Sociology

(607) 255-8848

338 Uris Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-7601


My research primarily falls within the subfields of social stratification and inequality, sociology of education, and urban sociology. In current and past projects, I investigate the causes and consequences of racial and economic residential segregation, the effect of school context on student outcomes, and the civic aspect of education.

Stratification Processes in Schools

This line of research seeks to understand the processes through which schools potentially act to ameliorate racial and socioeconomic differences in students’ achievement and social outcomes. In one project, I investigate the academic and social effects of an interdistrict school transfer program on program participants. Using both quantitative and qualitative research methods, this project seeks to understand the effect of attending a better-performing, higher-resourced school on student achievement and a range of social outcomes, as well as to disentangle the structural and organizational processes that create these school effects.

A second major project focuses on the effects of alternative educational opportunities on civic learning and civic action (with Doug McAdam and Sara Jordan-Bloch). Our focus is on process: What aspects of schools influence students’ senses of civic agency? What kinds of involvements are most productive of civic identity and civic action? And how does school composition affect the meaning of civic engagement? In this project we hope to begin to identify the critical mechanisms that exacerbate or remedy existing inequalities in civic engagement.

Residential Segregation

This line of research seeks to understand how and why populations sort across geographic, political, and institutional boundaries, and what consequences this segregation has for various social outcomes. In one ongoing project (with Sean Reardon), we document patterns in income segregation over time in the United States, as well as estimate the effect of rising income inequality on the spatial sorting of families by income. We are currently investigating the segregation of families by other measures of socioeconomic status, such as educational attainment, unemployment, and socioeconomic status. I have also written on the relationship between the fragmentation of political boundaries within urban areas, such as school districts and municipalities, and racial residential segregation.

Recent Courses

SOC 2250
SOC 3380
SOC 6020

Schooling and Society
Urban Inequality
Linear Models

Selected Publications

Bischoff, K. & Reardon, S. (2014). “Residential Segregation by Income, 1970-2009.” In John Logan (Ed.), Diversity and Disparities: America Enters a New Century. New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.

Bischoff, K. & Shores, K. (2014). “The Role of Social Science in Action-Guiding Philosophy: The Case of Educational Equity.” Theory and Research in Education, 12(2): 131-150.

Reardon, S. and K. Bischoff. (2011). “Income Inequality and Income Segregation.” American Journal of Sociology 116(4): 1092-1153.

Reardon, S., C. Farrell, S. Matthews, D. O’Sullivan, K. Bischoff, and G. Firebaugh. (2009). “Race and Space in the 1990s: Changes in the Geographic Scale of Racial Residential Segregation, 1990-2000.” Social Science Research 38(1): 55-70.

Bischoff, K. (2008). “School District Fragmentation and Racial Residential Segregation: How do Boundaries Matter?” Urban Affairs Review 44(2): 182-217.