Olivia Y. Hu

My name is Olivia, but you can call me Liv. I study how assortative mating and family-making processes intersect with social inequalities by race, gender, and class.

More specifically, my research agenda is motivated by three primary questions:

  1. How do individuals select romantic partners across race and class boundaries?

  2. What happens to people’s understanding of social difference after they enter these unions?

  3. How do individuals in mixed-race relationships navigate different social spaces?

My first project is titled “Let’s Talk About Race, Baby: How Interracial and Interethnic Relationships Influence East Asian Women’s Understandings of Race and Racism.” This analysis explores how East Asian women talk to their different-race/-ethnicity partners about race and racism, as well as how these mixed relationships influence their racial ideologies. This paper received the 2023 Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems’ (SSSP) Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Division. In 2024, it also received an Honorable Mention for the American Sociological Association’s (ASA) Race, Gender, and Class Section’s Graduate Student Paper Award. This manuscript is currently under review.

My second project, “Racialized Romance Beyond the White/Non-White Color Line: An Intersectional Analysis of East Asian Women’s Masculinities Construction Processes,” examines how East Asian women construct racialized masculinities in romantic contexts. In 2023, an earlier version of this paper received an Honorable Mention for ASA’s Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities’ James E. Blackwell Graduate Student Paper Award. This manuscript is currently under review.

My third solo-authored paper, titled “The Significance of Early Significant Others: How Family Members and Childhood Friends Influence East Asian Women’s Romantic Lives,” analyzes how East Asian women’s early experiences with natal families and childhood friends shape their romantic preferences and dating outcomes. This manuscript is currently in preparation.

For my dissertation (IRB Protocol Number: 852920), I am interviewing East Asian men and women in romantic relationships with individuals from different ethnic or racial backgrounds. If you (1) identify as East Asian, (2) live in the United States, and (3) are currently in a romantic relationship with someone of a different ethnic or racial background, I would love to hear about your thoughts and experiences. To check if you're eligible for the study, please take a couple of minutes to fill out this questionnaire.

Prior to beginning my graduate studies, I executed marketing campaigns at UBS Investment Bank and consulted on new CPG and OTC product launches at Nielsen. I received my Bachelor of Science in Sociology and Business Administration from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business.


M.A., Sociology, University of Pennsylvania, 2022

B.S., Sociology and Business Administration, New York University, 2015 (magna cum laude)

Research Interests

Race and Ethnicity; Gender; Sexualities; Family; Assortative Mating; Culture; Social Psychology; Asian America

Courses Taught

Instructor of Record, Introduction to Sociology, Spring 2024

Instructor of Record, Asian Americans in Contemporary Society, Fall 2023

Teaching Assistant, Media and Popular Culture (Prof. David Grazian), Spring 2023

Teaching Assistant, Introduction to Sociological Methods (Prof. Regina Baker), Spring 2022

Teaching Assistant, Introduction to Sociological Methods (Prof. Melissa Wilde), Fall 2021

Teaching Assistant, Introduction to Sociology (Prof. Jerry Jacobs), Fall 2020

Selected Publications

Hu, Olivia Y.,* Xiang Lu,* and Wendy D. Roth. 2024. “Linking Race and Genes: Racial Conceptualization among Genetic Ancestry Test-Takers.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 47(8):1574–96. doi: 10.1080/01419870.2023.2224871.

* Indicates equal authorship

CV (url)