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Norbert Ross

Associate Professor (Child centered Anthropology, Children and Violence, Theater and Social Science Research)

Dr. Ross's current research focuses on how children understand violence and how they cope with different forms of violence in El Salvador. The research takes place in areas of high levels of past and present violence and explores how children’s identities emerge from their interaction with violent events. The research uses improvisational theatre as a tool to explore children's understanding of violence and their ways of coping. Prior to working in El Salvador, Dr. Ross’ work focused on work with different Maya groups in Chiapas, Yucatán (Mexico) and the Petén (Guatemala), as well as Native North Americans. In general, his work targets issues of culture and cognition, mainly in relation to child development. His research has been funded by NSF, NIH, and the Fulbright Foundation. Dr. Ross teaches courses on Theory of Religion, Ontology, Food and Identity, as well as Environmental Anthropology, Social Theory and Research Methods. Dr. Ross has a background in the cognitive sciences (Northwestern University) and has a joined appointment in Psychology. English publications include Culture and Cognition, Implications for Theory and Method, Sage Publication (2004); Culture and Resource Conflict, (with Doug Medin and Doug Cox, 2006); as well as an array of articles in the leading journals.

Recent grants:

Norbert Ross has received a 3-year research grant from the National Science Foundation as well as a one year scholarship from the Fulbright Commission to study how violence affects children’s identities and worldview in El Salvador. The research combines interviews with, GIS mapping, as well as a focus on playback theatre, an improvisational theatre based on stories told by the audience.


Child centered Anthropology, Children and Violence, Theatre and Social Science Research, Culture and Cognition, El Salvador, México, Middle East, India