Grace Kao

Grace Kao's picture
IBM Professor of Sociology and Professor of Ethnicity, Race, and Migration
493 College Street, Room 407

Grace Kao is 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 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. More recently, she has developed interests in the Sociology of Music and in K-Pop in particular. 

Her most recent book (with Kara Joyner and Kelly Stamper Balistreri) is titled The Company We Keep: Interracial Friends and Romantic Relationships from Adolescence to Adulthood (ASA Rose Series/Russell Sage Foundation). Along with co-authors Phoebe Ho and Hyunjoon Park, she has a 2022 forthcoming book titled The Transition to Adulthood in America: Racial, Ethnic, and Immigrant Diversity (University of California Press).

In 2017, she received the “Contribution to the Field Award” from the ASA Section on Asia and Asian America. She was also named the Robin Murphy Williams Lecturer by the Eastern Sociological Society in 2018. 

She is Past Vice-President of the American Sociological Association. 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 almost 13,000 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