Does Interracial Contact During Adolescence Affect Interracial Relationships in Adulthood?

12-1 pm

PSTC Seminar Room 205, Mencoff Hall

Grace Kao, Professor of Sociology, Yale University

Kao's presentation is based on her book (co-authored with Kara Joyner and Kelly Stamper Balistreri) on the patterns of interracial friendships and romantic relationships among individuals in adolescence and young adulthood. They find that while students prefer to befriend people of the same race, school composition has significant effects on the likelihood of friendship and romance across racial lines. Moreover, early contact (both in terms of their friendships and their school racial composition) affects the likelihood of interracial romance and friendship more than a decade later.

Kao is Professor of Sociology, Faculty Director of Education Studies, and Director for the Center for Empirical Research on Stratification and Inequality (CERSI) at Yale University. Formerly, she was Professor of Sociology, Education, and Asian American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her BA from the University of California, Berkeley and her MA and PhD from The University of Chicago. 

She currently serves as Vice President-Elect of the American Sociological Association. She has served on the Boards of the Population Association of American and the Association for Asian American Studies. For the American Sociological Association, she has served as Council member for the Sections of Asia/Asian America and 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 Editorial Boards of the American Sociological ReviewSocial Science QuarterlySocial Science ResearchSocial Psychology QuarterlySociological ForumSociological Perspectives, and Social Problems.

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. 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.

Currently, she is one of a team of researchers (led by Hyunjoon Park) that is examining the transition to adulthood among Korean, Korean American, and Asian American Millennials. According to Google Scholar, her work has been cited over 8,500 times.