Shamus Rahman Khan

Willard Thorp Professor of Sociology and American Studies
177 Wallace Hall

Shamus Khan is Willard Thorp Professor of Sociology and American Studies at Princeton University. He writes on culture, inequality, gender, and elites. He is the author of over 100 articles, books, and essays, including Privilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite at St. Paul’s School (Princeton), The Practice of Research (Oxford, with Dana Fisher), Approaches to Ethnography: Modes of Representation and Analysis in Participant Observation (Oxford, with Colin Jerolmack), and Sexual Citizens: Sex, Power, and Assault on Campus (W.W. Norton, with Jennifer Hirsch), which was named a best book of 2020 by NPR. He was a co-principal investigator of SHIFT, a multi-year study of sexual health and sexual violence at Columbia University. He directed the working group on the political influence of economic elites at the Russell Sage Foundation, is the series editor of “The Middle Range” at Columbia University Press, and served as the editor of the journal Public Culture. He writes regularly for the popular press such as The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and has served as a columnist for Time Magazine. In 2016 he was awarded Columbia University’s highest teaching honor, the Presidential Teaching Award, and in 2018 he was awarded the Hans L. Zetterberg Prize from Upsala University for “the best sociologist under 40”.


B.A. Haverford College (2000)
Ph.D University of Wisconsin-Madison (2008)

Selected Publications

Jennifer Hirsch and Shamus Khan, 2020, Sexual Citizens: Sex, Power, and Assault on Campus, W.W. Norton
Shamus Khan, Joss Greene, Jennifer Hirsch, and Claude Mellins, 2020, “The Social Organization of Sexual Assault,” Annual Review of Criminology, Volume 3: 139-163.

Shamus Khan, 2019, “The Subpoena of Ethnographic Data,” Sociological Forum, 34(1): 253-264.
Shamus Khan, Wamboldt A, Reardon L, Mellins CA, Hirsch JS, 2018, “’I didn’t want to be ‘that girl’”: the Social Risks of labeling, telling, and reporting sexual assault,” Sociological Science, 5: 432-460.

Fabien Accominotti, Shamus Khan, and Adam Storer, 2018, “How Cultural Capital Emerged in Gilded Age America: Musical Purification and Cross-Class Inclusion at the New York Philharmonic,” American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 123, No. 6: 1743-83. 
Shamus Khan, 2016, “The Education of Elites in the United States,” Année Sociologique, Vol 66, No 1: 171-192. 
Colin Jerolmack and Shamus Khan, 2014, “Talk is Cheap: Ethnography and the Attitudinal Fallacy,” Sociological Methods and Research, 43: 178-209.

Erik Schneiderhan and Shamus Khan, 2008 “Reasons and Inclusion: The Foundation of Deliberation,” Sociological Theory 26:1–24.

Shamus Khan, Privilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite at St. Paul’s School, Princeton University Press, 2011