Jonathan Hampton is a sixth-year doctoral student concentrating in Higher Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His research seeks to provide empirical description to normative understandings around the purpose of college. As a Spencer Foundation New Civics Early Career Scholar, he is working on a dissertation that explores how students at an elite university navigate through the ceaseless social and academic pressures that surround them as they strive to make the most out of college. Drawing on 54 longitudinal interviews with 29 U.S. born undergraduates as well as document analyses, his dissertation examines college students' shifting perceptions around success, achievement, and the aims of education. In examining these perspectives, Jonathan discovers how these high-achieving students ascribe meaning to their education, how they cultivate self-ascriptions around their elite identity, how they succeed and flounder, and how they develop in myriad forms throughout their time in college.
Jonathan has worked on research projects with HarvardX, the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education, the Good Participation Project (Principal Investigators: Dr. Howard Gardner and Dr. Carrie James) at Project Zero, the Center for Urban Ethnography (now Center for Ethnographic Research), and the Laboratory for Social Research (Principal Investigator: Dr. Robb Willer). These research projects have explored faculty perspectives on digital education, faculty job satisfaction, young adults' use of digital media for civic purposes, the role of social context in shaping meaning-making processes, and the relationship between reputational incentives and prosocial behavior, respectively.
Jonathan holds a Master of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. He has also previously studied at the University of Oslo in Norway and in Florence, Italy.
Outside of his research, Jonathan holds longstanding interests in the history of art, gastronomy, and traveling.
His CV can be found here.