Child centered Anthropology, Children and Violence, Theatre and Social Science Research, Culture and Cognition, El Salvador, México, Middle East, India
Dr. Ross is a cultural anthropologist whose work focuses on childhood. Past research focussed on issues related to Culture and Cognition (see his book, Ross 2004 on the subject) and was supported by several multiyear NSF and NIH grants. Living 10 years in southern Mexico allowed Dr. Ross to conduct extensive research among Itzá Maya of the Petén, Guatemala as well as Lacandon Maya of southern Mexico (Ross 2001), while focusing most of his time on exploring how Tzotzil Maya children of southern Mexico create their environment and their place within it. Based on a mixture of experimental research (borrowed from the Cognitive Sciences) and ethnographic work Dr. Ross shows how children reproduce and produce ontological changes that affect their BEING in the world both figuratively and literally speaking. His book manuscript "A World of Many: Ontology and Child Development among the Maya of Southern Mexico" is under review. The research for the book was supported by two multi year NSF grants.
Dr. Ross ongoing research, supported by the Fulbright commission and a multiyear NSF grant takes place in areas with high levels of (past and present) violence in El Salvador, exploring how children deal with acts of violence (including the related stories), how they cope with it, and what potential long term effects and solutions might be. The research includes work with illegal squatters in an urban slum area outside San Salvador. While the focus is not only on gang violence, the research includes gang youth as participants. As an extension of the research, Dr. Ross started an NGO in El Salvador that to support children and their families in the research communities, combatting different forms of violence via a community center he built and runs with after school programs. As part of the research Dr. Ross uses an innovative theatre approach, blending aspects of popular theatre, improv theatre, playback theatre, and drama therapy to explore new ways of combining research and support. For this work he received some additional funding allowing him to take a local theatre ensemble to refugee camps in Mexico, performing for and with refugees stranded at the US border. Overall, Dr. Ross' research agenda examines how children and youth understand, explore, and create the worlds they inhabit. How do they understand and enact control over their lives. It pursues a spatially aware ethnographic approach, interested both in people's symbolic and material behaviors as well as the practices that emerge in times of sustained violence.
Dr. Ross' teaching focuses on providing students with important conceptual problems in Anthropology, especially as they related to globally relevant issues. Culture, ontology, race, the state, race, public space, cultural diversity, social inequality, and political change. Courses he regularly teaches include: Anthropology of Religion; Theatre and Social Change; Native North Americans; Food and Culture; Why Culture Matters? Culture and Thought; He teaches a special Maymester class focusing on the Caribbean and the connections of marine ecology, global warming, colonialism and tourism. The class travels to the island of Utila (Honduras), where students immerse themselves in the local history, politics, and ecology, both above and below the water. Dr. Ross is a certified scuba instructor and students will learn how to scuba dive, exploring and engaging with the coral reefs.
Medin, Douglas L., Norbert Ross, and Douglas G. Cox. 2007. Culture and Resource ConflictWhy Meanings Matter. New York: Russel Sage.
Ross, Norbert. 2004. Culture and cognition: Implications for theory and method: Sage.
Ross, Norbert. 2001 Bilder vom Regenwald: Mentale Modelle, Kulturwandel und Umweltverhalten bei den Lakandonen in Mexiko. Volume 33: LIT Verlag Münster.
Ross, Norbert. 1997. Nutz Lok’el li Kaxlane. Die Vertreibung der Ladinos von San Andrés Larraínzar, Chiapas, Mexico: Muenster.
Ross, Norbert, and Ahmad Mohammadpur. 2018. Imagined or real: the intersection of tribalism and nationalism in the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 45(2):194-211. View Article.
Ross, Norbert, and Antonia Ross Sanchez. 2018. The Messy Little Thing Called Peace: Postwar Memories and Durable Disorder in El Salvador. Journal of Global Faultlines 5(1-2):41-48. View Article.
Hertzog, Werner, and Norbert Ross. 2017. Language ideology, space, and place-based identity formation among the Tzotzil Maya of Chiapas, Mexico. Language Sciences 59:1-15. View Article.
Mohammadpur, Ahmad, Norbert Otto Ross, and Nariman Mohammadi. 2016. The fiction of nationalism: Newroz TV representations of Kurdish nationalism. European Journal of Cultural Studies 20(2):167-179. View Article.
Mohammadpur, Ahmad, Norbert Otto Ross, and Karim Mahmoodi. 2015. The Rise and Fall of Political Movements in the Late 19th Century and First Half of 20th Century Kurdistan (an Organisational Analysis). Canadian Social Science 11(1):1-16. View Article.
Norbert, O. Ross, and Mohammadpur Ahmad. 2015. Islamic State as a Modern Phenomenon. Journal of Global Faultlines 3(1):36-39. View Article.
Ross, Norbert. 2015. Islamic State as a Modern Phenomenon. This paper has been translated into Kurdish and Farsi, published. Quarterly Journal of Zrebar in Iran.
Ross, Norbert, et al. 2015. Language, culture and spatial cognition: bringing anthropology to the table. The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 9:1-18. View Article.
Maupin, Jonathan N., and Norbert Ross. 2012. Expectations of Similarity and Cultural Difference in Conceptual Models of Illness: A Comparison of Medical Staff and Mexican Migrants. Human Organization 71(3):306-316. View Article.
Ross, Norbert, Catherine Timura, and Jonathan Maupin. 2012. The Case of Curers, Noncurers, and Biomedical Experts in Pichátaro, Mexico. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 26(2):159-181. View Article.
Maupin, Jonathan N., Norbert Ross, and Catherine A. Timura. 2011. Gendered Experiences of Migration and Conceptual Knowledge of Illness. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 13(3):600-608. View Article.
Ross, Norbert, Jonathan Maupin, and Catherine A. Timura. 2011. Knowledge Organization, Categories, and Ad Hoc Groups: Folk Medical Models among Mexican Migrants in Nashville. Ethos 39(2):165-188. View Article.
Shenton, Jeffrey, et al. 2011. Maya Folk Botany and Knowledge Devolution: Modernization and Intra-Community Variability in the Acquisition of Folkbotanical Knowledge. Ethos 39(3):349-367. View Article.
Medin, Douglas, et al. 2010. Naming the Animals that Come to Mind: Effects of Culture and Experience on Category Fluency. Journal of Cognition and Culture 10(1-2):205-220. View Article.
Medin, Douglas, et al. 2007. Why Folkbiology Matters: Resource Conflict Despite Shared Goals and Knowledge. Human Ecology 35(3):315-329. View Article.
Ross, Norbert, Doug Medin, and Doug Cox. 2007. Epistemological Models and Culture Conflict: Menominee and Euro-American Hunters in Wisconsin. Ethos 35(4):478-515. View Article.
Waxman, Sandra, Douglas Medin, and Norbert Ross. 2007. Folkbiological reasoning from a cross-cultural developmental perspective: Early essentialist notions are shaped by cultural beliefs. Developmental Psychology 43(2):294-308.
Medin, Douglas L., et al. 2006. Folkbiology of freshwater fish. Cognition 99(3):237-273. View Article.
Burnett, Russell C., et al. 2005. Ideal is typical. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology/Revue canadienne de psychologie expérimentale 59(1):3-10.
Ross, Norbert, Tomás Barrientos, and Alberto Esquit-Choy. 2005. Triad Tasks, a Multipurpose Tool to Elicit Similarity Judgments: The Case of Tzotzil Maya Plant Taxonomy. Field Methods 17(3):269-282. View Article.
Ross, Norbert, and Douglas L. Medin. 2005. Ethnography and Experiments: Cultural Models and Expertise Effects Elicited with Experimental Research Techniques. Field Methods 17(2):131-149. View Article.
Atran, Scott, Douglas Medin, and Norbert Ross. 2004. Evolution and devolution of knowledge: a tale of two biologies. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 10(2):395-420. View Article.
La, Torre-Cuadros, and N. Ross. 2003. Secondary biodiversity: Local perceptions of forest habitats, the case of Solferino, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Journal of Ethnobiology 23:287-308.
Ross, Norbert, et al. 2003. Cultural and experiential differences in the development of folkbiological induction. Cognitive Development 18(1):25-47. View Article.
Atran, Scott, Douglas I. Medin, and Norbert Ross. 2002. Thinking about biology. Modular constraints on categorization and reasoning in the everyday life of Americans, Maya, and scientists. Mind & Society 3(2):31-63. View Article.
Medin, Douglas L., et al. 2002. Categorization and reasoning in relation to culture and expertise. Psychology of Learning and Motivation 41:1-41. View Article.
Atran, Scott, et al. 1999. Folkecology and commons management in the Maya Lowlands. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 96(13):7598-7603
Atran, Scott, et al. 1999. Folkecology and commons management in the Maya Lowlands. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 96(13):7598-7603. View Article.
Roß, Norbert. 1994. Die Entwicklung der Blumenindustrie in Zinacantán. Zeitschrift für Ethnologie 119(1):59-73. View Article.
Ross, Norbert. 2012. Cognitive Bases of Culture and Cultural Processes. . In Grounding Social Sciences in Cognition. R. Sun, ed. Pp. 63-88: MIT Press.
Ross, Norbert. 2011. Cognitive Anthropology and the Cognitive Sciences. In Handbook of Cognitive Anthropology. D. White, D. Kronenfeld, G. Bennardo, V. Munch, and M. Fischer, eds.
Ross, Norbert, and Caissa Revilla Minaya. 2011. Cognition and folkbiology. In Folkbiology: a Reader. G. Anderson, ed: Blackwell Publishers.
Ross, Norbert, and Michael Tidwell. 2010. Concepts and Culture. In The making of human concepts. D. Mareschal, P.C. Quinn, S.E. Lea, and S. Lea, eds. Pp. 131-148: Oxford Series in Developmental.
Ross, Norbert. 2009. Animism. In The Child: An Encyclopedic Companion. R. Shweder, ed.
Ross, Norbert. 2020. Poverty in the Time of Corona: Victims of a Sickness That is Yet to Exist: CounterPunch. View Web Publication.
Gill, Leslie, and Norbert Ross. 2016. What’s class got to do with it. View Web Publication.
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