Nora Gross

Faculty Advisors: 

Camille Charles and Kathleen Hall (Co-Chairs), John Jackson

Research Interests: 

Sociology of education; race and inequality; gender/masculinity; emotion; secondary impacts of violence; qualitative methods; urban and institutional ethnography; visual sociology and documentary film.


Nora Gross is a Ph.D. candidate in the Sociology Department and the Education, Culture, and Society program at Penn GSE.

Nora's research focuses primarily on understudied sources of racial inequality in education and other institutions for youth. Most recently, she has been conducting research with Black boys and young men growing up in underresourced urban neighborhoods, exploring the intersections of racialization processes, masculinities, academic identity, emotions, and perceptions of the future. Her dissertation project ethnographically investigates the grief rituals and emotions of Black teenage boys who have recently lost a friend to violence, particularly in an effort to understand how peer loss experiences manifest in day-to-day interactions, school-based relationships, and conceptions of self.

In 2019-2020, Nora's dissertation writing will be supported by a grant from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and a fellowship at UPenn's Center for Experimental Ethnography. She was previously a dissertation fellow in the Program in Urban Studies for 2018-2019.

Nora is a native New Yorker. She previously earned an M.A. in Sociology of Education from NYU Steinhardt and a graduate certificate in Documentary Film from The New School. She also worked as an English teacher and Writing Center Director at a high school on Chicago's West Side. Nora received her B.A. from Princeton University in Art History and African American Studies in 2008.


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