Claire Norris, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Claire Norris joined the Department of Sociology at Xavier University in the fall of 2009, just after completing her dissertation at Louisiana State University.  Her primary research interests are stratification and health inequalities.  More specifically, her research asks how social networks differentially affect mental health outcomes across social groups, through the provision of social support.

She plans to expand her dissertation research by exploring physical health distributions across social groups.  Specifically, she intends to examine physical health in the stress-support process across social groups.   She is also interested in examining how such mediating factors as social support, self-esteem, and mastery differentially affect social groups in immediate and long-term recovery in disaster-affected areas (i.e., environmental disturbances, such as hurricanes, major flooding; or manmade disturbances, such as war).  

Her pedagogical goal is to encourage students to understand that, although sociology shares a core methodology and approach with its counterparts in the physical sciences, sociologists differ from physical scientists because they are part of the phenomenon that they study.  Thus, her main objective is to help students understand their positions in society and how their social positions (i.e., race, class, and gender) affect access to social resources (such as education, social support, and job information), and thus outcomes (i.e., job opportunities, job promotions, and health).  Exploring these perspectives is instrumental in developing students’ sociological imaginations both within and outside the classroom setting.
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