Kathleen Marker, PhD
Who We Are

Kathleen Marker, PhD

Vice President, Qualitative Research, Los Angeles

As Vice President of Qualitative Research, Kathleen focuses on capturing consumer insights to inform future business decisions. She relishes opportunities to speak with people about a wide range of topics and industries. Kathleen is always trying to better understand larger societal themes and patterns based on how people express their thoughts and feelings.

Prior to joining Kelton, a Material Company, Kathleen managed the Center for Ethnographic Research at the University of California, Berkeley where she worked on a number of different qualitative assignments. She led research projects on business development in Detroit and the Silicon Valley and consulted on health-related ethnographic studies.

Kathleen earned a Bachelor’s degree in sociology at the University of Michigan and her Master’s degree and Doctorate of Philosophy in sociology from the University of California, San Diego. Her doctoral work focused on economic sociology. She has taught qualitative research methods and design courses to undergraduates at the University of California’s Berkeley and San Diego campuses in the Departments of Sociology, International and Area Studies, and Humanities.

Kathleen frequently presents qualitative work at conferences and is always on the lookout for the latest technology to assist with data analysis and organization. In her spare time, she loves perfecting slow cooker recipes and spending time with family.

Perspectives from Kathleen

Communications Strategy: 5 Best Practices for Writing White Papers

How to turn your market research into a white paper your customers and employees can’t stop talking about.


Social Norms in Culture and Business

Social norms keep society functioning and reduce deviance through social sanctions. While norms may keep society in check, they must also be bent and expanded from time to time to allow for societal progress. Take interracial dating for example – social norms, and the sanctions that went with them prevented interracial dating long after it had become legal in most states. Gradually changes in equality were made because of those individuals who were willing to break dating and racial norms at all costs.


Correlation, Causation, and Qualitative Research

Arguments based on correlation are common, especially in the news, because they are easier to report, make arguments clearer, take up less space, and give power to quantitative data. At times, authors themselves are unaware of their error and of the difference between correlation and causation.