Nora Gross

Photograph of Nora Gross

Assistant Professor of Education, Barnard College, Columbia University


As of Fall 2023, I am a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Education at Barnard College, Columbia University. Previously, I served as Core Fellow / Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology at Boston College where I taught courses in the University Core Curriculum related to race, gender, education, 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 with the University of Chicago Press 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 Journal of Contemporary EthnographyInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, and School Psychology Quarterly. Two films related to this project as well as resources for schools, parents, and youth can be found here. This project has recently been covered by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Billy Penn, Omnia, Penn Arts & Sciences Magazine, Penn GSE News, and The Pennsylvania Gazette.

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.

My co-edited methods text, Care-Based Methodologies: Reimagining Qualitative Research with Youth in U.S. Schools, came out in February 2022 with Bloomsbury Academic Press. 

I am also a documentary filmmaker and recently completed a feature-length film, Making Sweet Tea – about Black gay men in the South and role of performance in sharing others’ stories.


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

MA, New York University - Sociology of Education

Graduate Certificate, The New School - Documentary Media Studies

BA, Princeton University - Art History and African American 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

BOSTON COLLEGE - Undergraduate Core Program

Encountering Confinement: Ethnographies of Youth Captivity and Constraint - Instructor, Spring 2022

Grief & Resistance: Social Responses to American Gun Violence - Instructor, Fall 2021

Who Are You? Sociology of Self - Instructor, Spring 2021

Where #BlackLivesMatter Meets #MeToo: Violence and Representation in the African Diaspora - Labs Instructor, Fall 2020


Urban Studies Junior Fieldwork Seminar - Instructor, Spring and Summer 2019

Africana Studies Summer Institute for Pre-Freshmen - Teaching Assistant, Summers 2016-2019

Qualitative Modes of Inquiry (Graduate course) - Teaching Assistant, Spring 2018

Ethnographic Filmmaking (Graduate course) - Teaching Assistant, 2016-2017

Selected Publications

Vasudevan, Veena, Nora Gross, Pavithra Nagarajan, and Katherine Clonan-Roy. 2022. Care-Based Methodologies: Reimagining Qualitative Research with Youth in U.S. Schools. Bloomsbury Academic Press.

Gross, Nora. (Under contract) Brothers in Grief: The Social, Emotional, and School Lives of Black Teenage Boys in the Aftermath of Neighborhood Gun Violence. University of Chicago Press.

Peer-Reviewed Articles
Gross, Nora. 2022. “#LongLiveDaGuys: Online Grief, Solidarity, and Emotional Freedom for Black Teenage Boys after the Gun Deaths of Friends.” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography.

Gross, Nora, Charlotte Jacobs, Rekha Marar, and Adam Lewis. 2022. “’This School is Too Diverse’: Fragile Feelings Among White Boys at Elite Independent Schools.” Whiteness and Education.

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 34(4): 330-352.

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.

Book Chapters and Other Articles
Gross, Nora. 2022. “A ‘Friend’ or an ‘Experiment’?: The Paradox of Ethnographic Relationships with Youth.” Chapter in Care-Based Methodologies: Reimagining Qualitative Research with Youth in U.S. Schools (pgs. 133- 145).

Gross, Nora. (In production) “Nurturing Specialness, Defining Difference, and Cultivating Colorblindness in an Elite All-Boys Elementary Classroom.” Invited book chapter in Fergus, Edward and Joseph D. Nelson (eds.), Boys’ School and Community Life in the United States (Routledge).

Kokozos, Michael and Nora Gross. 2015. “Opening Up a Dialogue about the Boy Code. Media Review.” Boyhood Studies 8(2): 130-134.


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)