In this episode, we are joined by Shamus Khan, Professor of Sociology at Columbia University. Professor Khan studies cultural sociology and stratification, with a strong focus on elites. He is the author of Privilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite at St. Paul’s School and The Practice of Research. We discuss using historical data for his new research project, in which he uses the New York Philharmonic archives to uncover the character of their subscribers from the 1870s to the present.
“I love very micro-level analyses where you can see what one person is doing or what is happening on the ground…It is super exciting to see where did the Vanderbilts sit, who was sitting around them, and what kind of things they were listening to…The main advantage of this methodological approach to me, is that I find it really exciting. It is not hard for me to get up and go to my office everyday to do something like this because, as time consuming as it is, I get to really know something that happened, and I am able to document it and provide a really clear account of what was going on in what is often a cloudy past.”
– Shamus Khan –