Nora Gross

Nora Gross

Core Fellow/Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology, Boston College


I am a Core Fellow / Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology at Boston College where I teach courses in the University Core Curriculum related to race, gender, violence, and social inequality.

My research examines educational inequality with a focus on race, gender, and emotion among adolescents and in secondary school contexts.

I am currently working on a book manuscript from my dissertation research: an ethnographic study of the role of grief in the school lives of Black adolescent boys who lose friends to neighborhood gun violence, and the school practices and policies that shape their emotional and educational recovery. Articles emanating from this project have been published in the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education and School Psychology Quarterly. The work was also recently written up in the Philadelphia Inquirer and Omnia, Penn Arts & Sciences Magazine.

A secondary project explores the way white students in elite private high schools experience their schools’ diversity and inclusion efforts as well as the political climates of their schools between the 2016 and 2020 elections. Additionally, I am co-editing a methodological handbook about the role of care in school-based qualitative research relationships with youth.

I am also a documentary filmmaker and recently completed a feature-length film – about Black gay men in the South and role of performance in sharing others’ stories – as well as a short film related to my dissertation research on gun violence and grief.


PhD, University of Pennsylvania - Sociology and Education (joint-degree)

BA, Princeton University - Art History and African American Studies

MA, New York University - Sociology of Education

Graduate Certificate, The New School - Documentary Media Studies

Research Interests

Sociology of education; race and inequality; gender (masculinity); emotion; youth culture; violence; urban sociology; visual sociology; ethnographic, qualitative, and participatory methods; documentary film

Courses Taught

URBS 300: Urban Studies Fieldwork (Spring and Summer 2019)

Selected Publications

Clonan-Roy, Katherine, Nora Gross, and Charlotte Jacobs. 2020. “Safe Rebellious Places: The Value of Informal Spaces in Schools to Counter the Emotional Silencing of Youth of Color.” International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education.

Gross, Nora and Cassandra Lo. 2018. “Relational Teaching and Learning After Loss: Evidence from Black Adolescent Male Students and Their Teachers.” School Psychology Quarterly 33(3): 381-389.

Gross, Nora. 2017. “#IfTheyGunnedMeDown: The Double Consciousness of Black Youth in Response to Oppressive Media.” Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society 19(4): 416-437.


Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, Dissertation Fellow 2019-2020

Center for Experimental Ethnography, Graduate Fellow 2019-2020

UPenn Urban Studies Program, Graduate Fellow 2018-2019

Collective for Advancing Multimodal Arts (CAMRA) at Penn, Director 2019-2020

CV (url)