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Associate Professor of Education, Harvard University

Natasha Warikoo is an expert on the relationships between education, racial and ethnic diversity, and cultural processes in schools and universities. Her most recent book, "The Diversity Bargain: And Other Dilemmas of Race, Admissions, and Meritocracy at Elite Universities," illuminates how undergraduates attending Ivy League universities and Oxford University conceptualize race and meritocracy. The book emphasizes the contradictions, moral conundrums, and tensions on campus related to affirmative action and diversity, and how these vary across racial and national lines. Her first book, "Balancing Acts: Youth Culture in the Global City," analyzes youth culture among children of immigrants attending low-performing high schools in New York City and London. "Balancing Acts" won the Thomas and Znaneicki Best Book Award from the American Sociological Association's International Migration Section.

Warikoo was named a Guggenheim Fellow for 2017-18. During her year as a Guggenheim Fellow, Warikoo will work on a book about racial change in suburban America. She is studying how the settlement of the nation's most successful immigrant groups in privileged, previously predominantly white communities shapes the nature of racial boundaries, beliefs about success and achievement, and youth cultures. The findings will have implications for how to address racial diversity and student competition in privileged communities.

At Harvard, Warikoo teaches courses on racial inequality and the role of culture in K-12 and higher education. Warikoo was a teacher in New York City's public schools for four years, and also spent time working at the U.S. Department of Education and as a fellow with the Teachers Network Leadership Institute. She completed her Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University, and B.Sc. and B.A. in mathematics and philosophy at Brown University.


  • –present
    Associate Professor of Education, Harvard University


Guggenheim Fellowship 2017-2018