Academics - Faculty Profiles

Claudia Strauss, PhD
Professor of Anthropology

Claudia Strauss, PhD

    With Pitzer Since: 2000
    Field Group: Anthropology
    Campus Address: Fletcher 230
    Phone: 909.607.3063
    Campus email: claudia_strauss@pitzer.edu

    Education:
    A.M., Ph.D., Harvard University
    A.B., 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 Publications:

  • Making Sense of Public Opinion: American Discourses about Immigration and Social Programs. New York: Cambridge University Press (2012).
  • “How are Language Constructions Constitutive?  Strategic Uses of Conventional Discourses about Immigration,” Journal of International Relations and Development, forthcoming.
  • “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.
  •  “Who Gets Ahead? Cognitive Responses to Heteroglossia in American Political Culture,” American Ethnologist, vol.17, no.2 (1990).

Recent Conferences and Invited Talks:

  • “Narratives of the Unemployed,” paper presented at the American Anthropological Association meeting, San Francisco, November 17, 2012.
  • “Dimensions of ‘Culture’ in 21st Century Anthropology: Reconciling Cultural Differences with the Politics of Culture,” paper presented at the American Anthropological Association meeting, New Orleans, LA, November 18, 2010.
  • “Methods-- Interviewing for Cognitive and Cultural Complexity,”paper presented at The Encultured Brain: Building Interdisciplinary Collaborations for the Future of Neuroanthropology, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN, October 8-9, 2009.
  • “A (Mostly) Bakhtinian Analysis of U.S. Immigration Discourses,” paper presented at the Language, Culture, and Mind III conference, Odense, Denmark, July 14-16, 2008.

Selected Grants, Awards, and Honors:

  • 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