Harold R. Kerbo



  • Global Development
  • Comparative Sociology
  • Poverty

Contact Information


About Harold Kerbo

Harold R. Kerbo has been a professor of sociology at Cal Poly since 1977. He has been a Fulbright professor in Japan, Thailand, and Austria, and a visiting professor in Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Thailand and Japan. From June 2006 to August 2007, Professor Kerbo was the recipient of an Abe Fellowship to conduct fieldwork on poverty and poverty programs in Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. He has recently finished the first manuscript from this fieldwork titled "The Tragedy of Cambodian Poverty: From the Killing Fields to Deprivation in the 21st Century" (forthcoming, McFarland Press).

Professor Kerbo has published several books and numerous articles on the subjects of social stratification, comparative societies, and economic development and world poverty. He is the author of a basic sociology text book, "Sociology: Social Structure and Social Conflict" (MacMillan, 1989) and most importantly the author of the nations leading textbook on social stratification (Social Stratification and Inequality, published by McGraw‑Hill, now in its 7th edition, recently translated into Spanish, and currently being translated into Russian). Along with John A. McKinstry, he is the author of "Who Rules Japan?: The Inner Circles of Economic and Political Power" (Greenwood/Praeger, 1995).

Professor Kerbo is creator and general editor of the McGraw‑Hill Comparative Societies Series which includes books on 11 countries. The first volume, "Modern Japan" (by Harold Kerbo and John McKinstry) was published in 1998, with the second edition forthcoming (Cognella Press). He has also co-authored the volumes, "Modern Germany," with Professor Hermann Strasser at the University of Duisburg, Germany (second edition forthcoming, Cognell Press), and "Modern Thailand," with Robert Slagter, both published in 2000. Professor Kerbo is also the second author of the widely used text "Social Problems" now in its 10th edition (first author James Coleman, Prentice-Hall, 2008). His "World Poverty: Global Inequality and the Modern World System" was published by McGraw-Hill in 2006, with a second edition forthcoming (Oxford University Press).


  • B.A.,University of Oklahoma (1970)
  • M.A., University of Oklahoma (1972)
  • Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (1975)


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