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Michael Hout (born May 14, 1950) is a Professor of Sociology at New York University.[1] His contributions to sociology include using demographic methods to study social change in inequality, religion, and politics. His current work used the General Social Survey (GSS) to estimate the social standing of occupations introduced into the census classification since 1990. He digitized all occupational information in the GSS (1972-2014) and coded it all to the 2010 standard. Other recent projects used the GSS panel to study Americans' changing perceptions of class, religion, and happiness. In 2006, Mike and Claude Fischer published Century of Difference,[2] a book on twentieth-century social and cultural trends in the United States. Other books include Truth about Conservative Christians[3] with Andrew Greeley, Following in Father's Footsteps: Social Mobility in Ireland,[4] and Inequality by Design[5]

Michael Hout
Born (1950-05-14) May 14, 1950 (age 69)
Alma materUniversity of Pittsburgh (BA, 1972); Indiana University (MA, 1973; PhD in Sociology, 1976)
AwardsOtis Dudley Duncan Award, American Sociological Association Section on Population (2007); Clifford Clogg Memorial Award, Population Association of America 1996; Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences(1997), National Academy of Sciences (2003), and American Philosophical Society (2006)
Scientific career
Doctoral advisorsPhillips Cutright (chair), Paula M. Hudis and Elton F. Jackson



Michael Hout received a BA in Sociology and History from the University of Pittsburgh in 1972, and an MA in 1973 and a PhD in Sociology in 1976 from Indiana University.



Michael Hout's honors include election to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences[6] in 1997, the National Academy of Sciences[7] in 2003, and the American Philosophical Society[8] in 2006. He received the Otis Dudley Duncan Award[9] for Century of Difference from the American Sociological Association's section on Population in 2007, and the Clifford C. Clogg Memorial Award[10] given by the Population Association of America in 1996.


Inequality by Design[11] argued that the hyper-individualism of inequality studies like The Bell Curve[12] captured some significant aspects of the rank of individuals but could never account for the rapidly growing inequality of jobs, wages, and family outcomes, and life chances. It expanded on work Michael Hout completed on the interaction between socioeconomic background and higher education in social mobility in the USA and Europe.[13][14][15][16][17] A different line of work on the demography of American religion and religious institutions documented the role of birth rates in the rise of Evangelical churches and the decline of Mainline ones.[18] With Claude S. Fischer, Hout has documented American's declining religious affiliation since 1990 and developed an explanation rooted in generational turnover and political polarization.[19][20] He has used similar models to explain ethic attachments[21] and class voting patterns.[22][23]


  1. ^ Hout, Michael. "NYU". New York University Department of Sociology. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  2. ^ Fischer, Claude S.; Hout, Michael (2008). Century of difference : how America changed in the last one hundred years. New York: Russell Sage. p. 424. ISBN 9780871543684.
  3. ^ Greeley, Andrew; Hout, Michael (2006). The Truth about Conservative Christians: What they Think and What they Believe. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 216. ISBN 0226306623.
  4. ^ Hout, Michael (1989). Following in Father's Footsteps: Social Mobility in Ireland. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. p. 384. ISBN 9780674307285.
  5. ^ Claude S. Fischer, et al...] (1996). Inequality by Design: Cracking the Bell Curve Myth. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. p. 384. ISBN 9780691028989.
  6. ^ "Election 1997". American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
  7. ^ "Election". National Academy of Sciences.
  8. ^ "APS Election". American Philosophical Society.
  9. ^ Hout, Michael. "Otis Dudley Duncan Award". ASA Sociology of Population. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  10. ^ Hout, Michael. "1996". Population Association of America.
  11. ^ Fischer, Claude; Hout, Michael; Jankowski, Martin Sanchez; Lucas, Samuel R.; Swidler, Ann; Voss, Kim (1996). Inequality by design : cracking the bell curve mith. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton university press. ISBN 0691028982.
  12. ^ Murray, Richard J. Herrnstein, Charles (1994). The bell curve : intelligence and class structure in American life ([4. Dr.] ed.). New York, N.Y.: Free Press. ISBN 0029146739.
  13. ^ Hout, Michael (1984). "Occupational Mobility of Black Men: 1962–1973". American Sociological Review. 49: 308–322. doi:10.2307/2095276.
  14. ^ Hout, Michael (1984). "Status, Autonomy, and Training in Occupational Mobility". American Journal of Sociology. 89: 1379–1409. doi:10.1086/228020.
  15. ^ Hout, Michael (1988). "More Universalism and Less Structural Mobility: The American Occupational Structure in the 1980's". American Journal of Sociology. 93: 1358–1400. doi:10.1086/228904.
  16. ^ Hout, Michael (1989). Following in Father's Footsteps: Social Mobility in Ireland. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. p. 394. ISBN 0674307283.
  17. ^ Raftery, Adrian E.; Hout, Michael (1993). "Maximally Maintained Inequality: Educational Stratification in Ireland". Sociology of Education. 65: 41–62. doi:10.2307/2112784.
  18. ^ Hout, Michael; Greeley, Andrew M.; Wilde, Melissa J (2001). "The Demographic Imperitive in Religious Change". American Journal of Sociology. 107: 468–500. doi:10.1086/324189.
  19. ^ Hout, Michael; Fischer, Claude S. (2002). "Explaining the Rise of Americans with No Religious Preference: Generations and Politics". American Sociological Review. 67: 165–190. doi:10.2307/3088891.
  20. ^ Hout, Michael; Fischer, Claude (2014). "Explaining Why More Americans Have No Religious Preference: Political Backlash and Generational Succession, 1987–2012". Sociological Science. 1: 423–447. doi:10.15195/v1.a24.
  21. ^ Hout, Michael; Goldstein, Joshua R. (February 1994). "How 4.5 Million Irish Immigrants Came to Be 41 Million Irish Americans: Demographic, Social, and Subjective Components of the Ethnic Composition of the White Population of the United States". American Sociological Review. 59: 64–82. doi:10.2307/2096133.
  22. ^ Hout, Michael; Brooks, Clem; Manza, Jeff (December 1995). "The Democratic Class Struggle in U.S. Presidential Elections: 1948-1992". American Sociological Review. 60: 805–828. doi:10.2307/2096428.
  23. ^ Hout, Michael; Laurison; Grusky, David (editor). "The Realignment of U.S. Presidential Voting, 1948-2008". Inequality: Readings in Race, Class, and Gender.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)