Phoebe Ho et al., "Diversity and the Transition to Adulthood in America" (U California Press, 2022)


How do children and adolescents transition to adulthood in today’s America? How have American society’s entrenching economic inequality and increasing financial precarity profoundly shaped their coming-of-age experience? What does it mean to grow up in a diverse society interacting with peers and adults with very different racial and ethnic backgrounds? These are important questions to ask in order to understand young people’s life in the United States. 

In Diversity and the Transition to Adulthood in America (U California Press, 2022), sociologists Phoebe Ho, Hyunjoon Park, and Grace Kao use large-scale and nationally representative data to address these important questions. The book offers a panoramic view of young people’s life in today’s increasingly diverse America. Through identifying the patterns and trends of when and how youths of different racial and ethnic backgrounds reach their life milestones, the book maps out the varying life paths of young Americans, who will play critical roles in shaping the future of this country.

In this episode, you will hear NBN host Pengfei Zhao talk with Phoebe Ho, the lead author of Diversity and the Transition to Adulthood in America. Their conversation ranges from the major findings of the book, to how these findings may inform public debates on issues related to young people, as well as how university instructors may use this book to engage students in their classrooms.

  • Phoebe Ho is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of North Texas. Her research focuses on family experiences with education and schooling in the United States, with a particular emphasis on race, ethnicity, immigrant status, and social class.
  • Hyunjoon Park is Korea Foundation Professor of Sociology and Director of the James Joo-Jin Kim Program in Korean Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests include social stratification, education, family, and the transition to adulthood, especially in East Asian societies.
  • Grace Kao is IBM Professor of Sociology and Professor of Ethnicity, Race, and Migration at Yale University. She is a past vice president of the American Sociological Association. Her research focuses on race, ethnicity, immigration, education, and youth outcomes.

Pengfei Zhao is a critical researcher and qualitative research methodologist based at the University of Florida. She is currently working on a book manuscript studying the coming-of-age experience of rural Chinese youth during and right after the Cultural Revolution.

Your Host

Pengfei Zhao

Pengfei Zhao is a critical researcher and qualitative research methodologist based at McGill University.
View Profile