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 Chair and IBM Professor of Sociology and Professor of Ethnicity, Race, and Migration (Secondary appointment, by courtesy). She is also Faculty Director of Education Studies. She is also Director of the Center for Empirical Research on Stratification and Inequality (CERSI). 

She is Past Vice-President of the American Sociological Association. 

She studies race, ethnicity, and immigration as they collectively relate to education and relationships among young people. She also has interests in the effects of migration on young people and has written papers on these topics in Mexico, China, and Spain. Currently, she is one of a team of researchers (led by Hyunjoon Park) that is examining the transition to adulthood among Korean Millennials. More recently, she has developed interests in the Sociology of Music and K-Pop in particular. Her work has been published in the American Sociological ReviewAnnual Review of SociologySocial Science ResearchSocial Science QuarterlyAmerican Education Research JournalTeachers College RecordChild DevelopmentEarly Childcare Research QuarterlyPopulation Research and Policy Review, Population and Development Review, among others. Her research has been supported by NICHD, The Spencer Foundation, The Russell Sage Foundation, and the Academy of Korean Studies.

Formerly, she was Professor of Sociology, Education, and Asian American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where she taught for 20 years. She is the Co-Editor (with Hyunjoon Park) of Research in the Sociology of Education. She has served on the Boards of the Population Association of America and the Association for Asian American Studies. 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 or currently serves on the Editorial Boards of the American Sociological Review, NYU Press’ Series on Asian American Sociology, Social Science QuarterlySocial Science ResearchSocial Psychology QuarterlySociological ForumSociological Perspectives, Social Problems, and Socius.

According to Google Scholar, her work has been cited over 11,000 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