Grace Kao

Grace Kao's picture
IBM Professor of Sociology and Professor of Ethnicity, Race, and Migration (Secondary); Faculty Director; Education Studies; Director, CERSI
Ph.D., Sociology, The University of Chicago, 1997
A.M., Sociology, The University of Chicago, 1992
A.B., University of California, Berkeley, Sociology and Oriental Languages (Chinese Literature), 1990
Areas of Interest: 
Race and Ethnicity; Immigrant Adaptation; Sociology of Education; Adolescence; Asian Americans
493 College Street, Room 407
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Grace Kao is IBM Professor of Sociology and Professor of Ethnicity, Race, and Migration (Secondary appointment, by courtesy) at Yale University. She is the Director of the Center for Empirical Research on Stratification and Inequality (CERSI) at Yale University. Her research focuses on: 1) Racial, Ethnic, and Immigrant Differences in Educational Outcomes and Transition to Adulthood; (2) Interracial Friendships and Romantic Relationships; (3) Sociology of Music, especially K-Pop and the Hallyu; and (4) Dating and Marriage in S. Korea. She has written numerous articles and books on these topics.

Her most recent books are Diversity and The Transition to Adulthood in America (2022; co-authored with Phoebe Ho and Hyunjoon Park, University of California Press) and The Company We Keep: Interracial Friendships and Romantic Relationships from Adolescence to Adulthood (2019; co-authored with Kara Joyner and Kelly Stamper Balistreri, Russell Sage Foundation). Her most recent article on K-Pop appears in the Journal of Popular Music Studies (“’I Need You’: The Importance of Audience Participation in Online K-pop Concerts During COVID-19”), co-authored with Wonseok Lee.

In 2017, she received the “Contribution to the Field Award” from the ASA Section on Asia and Asian America. She was named the Robin Murphy Williams Lecturer by the Eastern Sociological Society in 2018. She also gave the Grimshaw Lecture in the Department of Sociology, Indiana University in 2022 and the Trena Gillette Memorial Lecture, Institute in Asian Studies, Portland State University in 2023.

In addition to serving as Past Vice-President of the American Sociological Association, she has served as Council member for the Sections of Asia/Asian America and Sociology of Education, and she has served as Chair of the Section of Children and Youth, and served on ASA’s Nominations Committee. She has also served on the Boards of the Population Association of America and the Association for Asian American Studies. She has also served on or currently serves on the Editorial Boards of the American Sociological Review, NYU Press’ Series on Asian American Sociology, Social Science Quarterly, Social Science Research, Social Psychology Quarterly, Sociological Forum, Sociological Perspectives, Social Problems, and Socius.

According to Google Scholar, her work has been cited more than 15,000 times.


Courses and Seminars


  • SOCY 144A. Race, Ethnicity and Immigration
  • SOCY 081B. Race and Place in British New Wave, K-Pop, and Beyond


  • SOCY 663. Sociology of Education