Anthony (Tony) Jack investigates what influences undergraduates’ sense of belonging, their acquisition of cultural and social capital, and how institutional policies affect these processes. His research uncovers the overlooked diversity among lower-income undergraduates: the Doubly Disadvantaged—those who enter college from local, typically distressed public high schools—and Privileged Poor—those who do so from boarding, day, and preparatory high schools. In so doing, he not only extends present day understandings of the social processes that shape youth’s acquisition of cultural capital and provides a nuanced analysis of how social class affects the college experiences for poor youth, but also expands our understanding of how colleges can exacerbate preexisting inequalities. His work appears in the Du Bois Review, Sociological Forum, and Sociology of Education and has received awards from the American Sociological Association, Eastern Sociological Society, and the Society for the Study of Social Problems. Additionally, the New York Times, Boston Globe, The Huffington Post, American RadioWorks, and MPR have featured his research on lower-income college students as well as biographical profiles of his experiences of being a first-generation college student.
As of July 1, Tony will be a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows. After his tenure at the Society, Tony will serve as Assistant Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education where he will also hold the Shutzer Assistant Professorship at the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study.
Tony received his B.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies and Religion (cum laude) from Amherst College in 2007. He holds fellowships from the Ford Foundation and the National Science Foundation, and is a graduate student affiliate at the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and the Wisconsin HOPE Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a 2015 National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellow.