Claudia Strauss

Professor of Anthropology

With Pitzer Since: 2000
Field Group: Anthropology
Campus Address: Fletcher 230
Phone: 909.607.3063
Campus email:
Office Hours: Wednesdays 2:45 p.m.-4:45 p.m.; Thursdays 3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Educational Background

AM, PhD, Harvard University
AB, Brown University

Research Interests

Professor Strauss studies the beliefs of U.S. Americans about social policy issues, such as immigration and economic fairness. Her current research investigates the life stories and political outlooks of the unemployed and underemployed. Her areas of expertise also include psychological anthropology, culture theory, American political culture, discourse analysis, and qualitative social research methods.

Recent Courses

Language, Culture, and Society (ANTH03)

Culture and the Self (ANTH70)

American Political Discourses (ANTH76)

Life Stories (ANTH 83)

Introduction to American Culture (AMST103)

Anthropology of Public Policy (ANTH86)

Language and Power (ANTH117)

U.S. Social and Immigration Discourses (ANTH125)

Selected Articles, Books Chapters and Books

Making Sense of Public Opinion: American Discourses about Immigration and Social Programs. (2012) Cambridge University Press. (Finalist, Society for Psychological Anthropology Stirling Award, 2014).

“How are Language Constructions Constitutive?  Strategic Uses of Conventional Discourses about Immigration,” Journal of International Relations and Development, (2013).

Making Sense of Public Opinion: American Discourses about Immigration and Social Programs. New York: Cambridge University Press (2012).

“Blaming for Columbine: Conceptions of Agency in the Contemporary United States” and “Reply,” Current Anthropology, vol.48, no.6 (2007).

“Analyzing Discourse for Cultural Complexity,” in Naomi Quinn, ed., Finding Culture in Talk: A Collection of Methods. Palgrave, 2005.

“Cultural Standing in Expression of Opinion,” Language in Society, vol.33, no.2 (2004).

“Is Empathy Gendered and If So, Why? An Approach from Feminist Psychological Anthropology,” Ethos, vol.32, no. 4 (2004).

“Not-so Rugged Individualists: U.S. Americans’ Conflicting Ideas about Poverty,” in Frances Fox Piven, Joan Acker, Margaret Hallock, and Sandra Morgen, eds., Work, Welfare, and Politics: Confronting Poverty in the Wake of Welfare Reform. Eugene, OR: University of Oregon Press, 2002.

“The Culture Concept and the Individualism/Collectivism Debate: Dominant and Alternative Attributions for Class in the United States,” in Larry Nucci, Geoffrey Saxe, and Elliot Turiel, eds., Culture, Thought, and Development. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2000.

A Cognitive Theory of Cultural Meaning. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997. Co-authored with Naomi Quinn.

Human Motives and Cognitive Models. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992. Co-edited with Roy D’Andrade.

“What makes Tony run? Schemas as Motives Reconsidered,” in Roy D’Andrade and Claudia Strauss,eds., Human Motives and Cultural Models. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992.

Recent Conference Presentations and Invited Talks

“Theory and method in cognitive anthropology,” Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China, June 2015.

“The ‘Real Culture Problem’ about Poverty and Work in the United States,” American Anthropological Association 113th annual meeting, Washington, DC, December 2014.

“The multiple meanings of nativist discourses in the U.S.,” Keynote address, Nordic Migration Research Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark, August 2014.

Selected Grants, Awards, and Honors

Lemelson/Society for Psychological Anthropology 2014 Conference Award, “Culture and Political Subjectivities”

Recipient, awards from National Science Foundation (2012-2014) and Wenner-Gren Foundation (2012)

President, Society for Psychological Anthropology, 2011-2013

Fellow, FrameWorks Institute, 2008-present

Visiting Scholar, Russell Sage Foundation, 2003

Recipient, the American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, 1999-2000

Additional Information

Curriculum Vitae

Page last updated on September 13, 2017