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Stephen L. Klineberg, Ph.D.
Rice University

A graduate of Haverford College, Stephen Klineberg received an M.A. in Psychopathology from the University of Paris and a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Harvard. After teaching at Princeton, he joined Rice University’s Sociology Department in 1972. The recipient of twelve major teaching awards, including the George R. Brown Lifetime Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Piper Professor Award, he is a faculty associate and divisional advisor at Lovett College, where he twice served as Interim Master. His wife, Margaret, is a practicing attorney. They have two children and five grandchildren, three of whom are currently Rice undergraduates.

In March 1982, he and his students initiated the annual “Kinder Institute Houston Area Survey,” now in its 33rd year of tracking the remarkable changes in the demographic patterns, economic outlooks, experiences, and beliefs of Harris County residents. No other metropolitan region in America has been the focus of a long-term longitudinal research program of this scope. Houston recovered from the oil-boom collapse in the early 1980s to find itself squarely in the midst of the new restructured economy and an accelerating demographic revolution. No city more clearly exemplifies the transformations that are refashioning the social and political landscape across all of urban America.

The research has attracted great interest and generous support from foundations, corporations, and individuals in the wider Houston community and beyond. That support has made it possible not only to fund the annual surveys, but also to expand their reach with additional “oversample” interviews in Houston’s Anglo, African-American, and Latino communities, and to undertake more focused surveys on health, education, and the arts in the Houston area (the SHEA studies). In 1995, 2002, and 2011, the project reached large representative samples from Houston’s varied Asian communities as well, with one-fourth of the interviews conducted in Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin, or Korean. Beginning with the 2012 study, the annual surveys are now reaching residents from the entire nine-county Houston metropolitan region.

Co-author of The Present of Things Future: Explorations of Time in Human Experience, Klineberg has written numerous articles and appears frequently on radio and television, and in the print and social media. A much sought-after speaker, he is completing a series of published reports (and soon, a book) on this ongoing research, while also serving as the founding co-director of Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research.

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