Dr. Meredith Kleykamp is currently an associate professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland and director of the Center for Research on Military Organization. She is also a faculty associate of the Maryland Population Research Center (MPRC). Prior to joining the Maryland faculty in 2010, she was an assistant professor at the University of Kansas, and previously taught at the United States Military Academy (West Point). She received a PhD from Princeton University in 2007, and a BA in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin.
As a sociologist Dr. Kleykamp is interested in how forces outside individuals can shape individual lives. Her research focuses on people's work lives—their jobs, earnings, and careers. Kleykamp' s past and current research examines the connections between the labor market and three specific institutions: the military, prison, and unions. She explores how these institutions influence patterns of employment and how each institution's influence varies along racial, ethnic, class, and gender lines.
Dr. Kleykamp's primary research program focuses on the military as a unique labor market institution, and draws conceptual and methodological inspiration from past collaborative work on the prison as a labor market institution. Fundamentally, she is interested in understanding why people join the military and how military service influences their lives, especially in the current context of multiple wars fought with a small volunteer force. She has a particular interest in elucidating the mechanisms underlying differences between civilians and veterans, and how the societal context of reception of military veterans shapes their transition from military to civilian life.
Although primarily a quantitative researcher, her work has included a field experiment of hiring practices, a general population experiment in public attitudes, statistical analyses of large datasets, and in-depth individual interviews. Her work has been published in journals such as American Sociological Review, Future of Children, Social Forces, and Armed Forces and Society.
Professor Kleykamp currently teaches graduate courses in military sociology and statistics. She has previously taught undergraduate courses in statistics, research methods, demography and military sociology.
PhDSociology, Princeton University, 2007