A s


Department Faculty

Professor Timothy Black


Professor Dale Dennefer Faculty Website
Associate Professor
Social inequality; poverty; urban sociology; qualitative research methods
223C Mather Memorial Bldg.
Phone: (216) 368-2697
Fax: (216) 368-2676

Tim Black is an Associate Professor of Sociology and a Faculty Associate of the Social Justice Institute. His scholarly work examines the intersections between larger social structures and personal lives. He attempts to identify the processes and mechanisms through which social and economic marginalization is (re)produced and to show how life in marginalized spaces is negotiated. His research focuses on the post-1970s period of neoliberalism and, more recently, the Great Recession and their respective impacts on the working classes and marginalized communities more specifically. He advances a medium of sociological storytelling to illustrate how social structures are lived. Black teaches courses on urban sociology, urban poverty, and qualitative research methods. 



Professor Dale Dannefer


Professor Dale Dennefer Faculty Website
Selah Chamberlain Professor of Sociology
Chair, Department of Sociology
Aging and the life course; theory; work and family; research methods
226A Mather Memorial Bldg.
Phone: (216) 368-2703
Fax: (216) 368-2676

Dale Dannefer's scholarly work is concerned with the links between social dynamics and life course processes. A pioneer in developing cumulative advantage theory as an explanatory life-course framework, he has published more than 60 articles, monographs and chapters in sociology, psychology, human development, education and gerontology. Dannefer's current scholarship focuses on the effects of globalization on life course patterns and the problem of age segregation. He has just completed a large-scale empirical study of "culture change" in long-term care settings. He teaches courses on life course and human development, the sociology of work and education, and social theory. Dannefer has been a research fellow in the Social Control program at Yale University, at the Andrus Gerontology Center at the University of Southern California, and at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Education in Berlin.


Professor Gary Deimling


Professor Gary Deimling Faculty Website
Medical sociology; sociology of aging; family sociology
231A Mather Memorial Bldg.
Phone: (216) 368-5173
Fax: (216) 368-2676

Gary Deimling's research interests focus on the effects of life threatening illness on the mental health of older adults.  Over the past 20 years, with the support of the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute on Aging he has conducted research on the impact of cancer on older adult long term cancer survivors. His research has examined how cancer survivors use the coping resources they have developed, their health beliefs and behaviors, and the stress effects they have experienced and continue to experience.   He has also examined the dual vulnerability that aging and cancer confer on survivors in terms of co-morbidities and illness symptoms. He is particularly interested in how cancer reshapes the individual’s identity and sense of self.



Professor Mary Erdmans


Faculty Website
Associate Professor
Social inequality; race & ethnicity; immigration; qualitative research methods; gender
223B Mather Memorial Bldg.
Phone: (216) 368-2164
Fax: (216) 368-2676

Mary Erdmans received her PhD in sociology from Northwestern University in 1992. Her areas of interest are immigration and ethnicity (with a research focus on Poles and Polish Americans), the intersection of gender, class, and race (where her research has included studies of white working-class women and adolescent mothers), and narrative research methods including life stories and oral histories. Her research has been published as book-length manuscripts (Opposite Poles and The Grasinski Girls), and her articles have appeared in various journals including the Journal of American Ethnic History, Sociological Quarterly, Sociological Inquiry, Qualitative Health Research, Polish American Studies, Humanity and Society, and North American Review. She is currently working on a manuscript, with Timothy Black, about adolescent mothers based on life-story interviews with 108 black, white and Puerto Rican young women.



Professor Brian Gran


Professor Brian Gran Faculty Website
Associate Professor
Sociology of law; comparative sociology; health care policy; human rights
224 Mather Memorial Bldg.
Phone: (216) 368-2694
Fax: (216) 368-2676

Brian K. Gran is an associate professor on the faculty of the Sociology Department, with a secondary appointment with the Law School.  As a Fulbright Scholar, Gran conducted research on Iceland’s independent children’s rights institution and visited the Law School of Reykjavik University where he taught a course on children’s rights and social policy. Gran co-edited The Handbook of Sociology and Human Rights (with David Brunsma and Keri Iyall Smith, Paradigm, 2013). As a member of the council of the Science and Human Rights Program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in January Gran served on a panel on a child’s right to benefits from scientific progress and its application (REBSPA). Gran is completing an NSF-sponsored project that has developed the Children’s Rights Index. This summer Gran and two students will publish an article on children’s REBSPA in The International Journal of Children’s Rights (Gran, Waltz, and Renzhofer, July 2013). At the United Nations, Gran recently participated in a discussion on human rights indicators sponsored by the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights. He is a Research Affiliate of the Joint Center for Poverty Research of Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. Gran was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in Health Policy Research at Yale University. His interests include comparative social policy, political sociology, sociology of law, and methodology.


Professor Sue Hinze


Professor Sue Hinze Faculty Website
Associate Professor
Director, Women's and Gender Studies
Medical sociology; social inequality; sex and gender; work and family
223 Mather Memorial Bldg.
Phone: (216) 368-2702
Fax: (216) 368-2676

Professor Hinze is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Program Faculty in Women's Studies. She earned her doctorate in sociology from Vanderbilt University. Her research and teaching interests lie primarily in medical sociology, gender, social inequality and the emerging work/family or work/life nexus. Much of her research has been on physicians. She uses quantitative and qualitative methodologies to examine (broadly) medical culture. Professor Hinze has also researched the social construction of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and, with colleagues in the medical school, racial/ethnic disparities in medical care. Her newest project is on the medicalization of "technological" addictions and how social, institutional, structural and cultural dynamics shape gaming behaviors. Finally, Professor Hinze is exploring how parental work in a 24/7 global economy influences the daily, lived experiences of children. Her work appears in Research in the Sociology of Health Care, Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health and Medicine, Research in the Sociology of Work, American Journal of Public Health, Work and Occupations, Academic Emergency Medicine, The Annals of Internal Medicine, The Sociological Quarterly, and Social Forces.


Professor Eva Kahana


Professor Eva Kahana Faculty Website
Distinguished University Professor and Pierce T. and Elizabeth D. Robson Professor of the Humanities
Director, Elderly Care Research Center
Sociology of aging; medical sociology; social factors in stress and coping
Mather Memorial 231B
Phone: (216) 368-2704
Fax: (216) 368-1078

Eva Kahana teaches courses in Stress, Health and Coping, Sociology of Institutional Care, and Sociology of Mental Illness. She has been engaged in a program of research related to understanding how older adults cope with a broad spectrum of stressors ranging from increasing frailty to relocation, institutionalization and surviving trauma in their lives. She has worked on a series of NIA funded studies focusing on proactive adaptations undertaken by older adults as they face stressful life situations. Based on these studies she has delineated models of successful aging. Her recent work has also focused on health care of older adults and the health care relationships forged between patients, physicians and family caregivers. Eva Kahana directs the Elderly Care Research Center and enjoys both mentoring of students in research and developing innovative models relevant to aging and medical sociology. She also serves as director of the Gerontological Studies minor and co-major.


Professor Jessica Kelley-Moore


Professor Jessica Kelley-Moore Faculty Website coming soon
Associate Professor
Health disparities; sociology of disability; sociology of the life course; race/ethnicity
230 Mather Memorial Bldg.
Phone: (216) 368-8879
Fax: (216) 368-2676

Professor Jessica Kelley-Moore studies the causes and consequences of health disparities over the life course, particularly those related to race, socioeconomic status, and disability. Previously, Jessica had a grant from the National Institute on Aging to study the relative influence of individual and community-level characteristics on the subsequent health of Black and White older adults over time. In addition, she was also Co-Investigator on the National Institute on Aging Intramural study “Healthy Aging in Neighborhoods of Diversity across the Life Span” [HANDLS], a 20-year panel study of nearly 4,000 Black and White residents of Baltimore, MD. She designed and conducted the ecological (environmental, city, and neighborhood) levels of the project, so that we may better understand how the social characteristics, physical environment, and available resources of a neighborhood influence health and well-being.



She currently has several projects underway, addressing issues of health disparities over the life course. She is examining the dynamics of late-life health and functioning, including cumulative disadvantage processes, mid-life selection mechanisms, and social patterns in inter-individual variability. She and her students have published and presented several papers on these topics. Jessica also writes on the role of neighborhoods in observed health differentials across race and ethnic groups. Her work has appeared in Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, and American Sociological Review.


Professor Jennifer Karas Montez


Faculty Website
Assistant Professor, Fall 2013
Socioeconomic inequalities in health and mortality; women's health; aging and the life course
223D Mather Memorial Bldg.
Phone: (216) 368-2484
Fax: (216) 368-2676

Jennifer Karas Montez's research focuses on two major lines of inquiry. One line investigates gender and socioeconomic inequalities in health and mortality among U.S. adults. Her recent research in this area addressed topics such as why the longevity benefits of education are greater for men than for women, why differences in longevity across education levels have grown among women, and whether the association between education and longevity is better explained by a human capital or credential perspective. The second line of inquiry investigates how early-life conditions (e.g., parents’ socioeconomic status, family structure) have enduring consequences for later-life health and longevity. Before joining the faculty, Montez was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society scholar at Harvard University. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology with a Demography Specialization from the University of Texas at Austin in 2011.



Associated Faculty

David E. Biegel, Ph.D., University of Maryland at Baltimore, Henry Zucker Professor, Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University

Gunhild Hagestad, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, Professor of Sociology, Agder University College, Kristiansand, Norway

Boaz Kahana, Ph.D., University of Chicago, Co-Director, Elderly Care Research Center; Professor of Psychology, Cleveland State University
Linda Noelker, Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University, Senior Vice President, Planning and Organizational Resources, Benjamin Rose Institute of Cleveland
Kathleen Smyth, Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University, Associate Professor Professor Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Anna Maria Santiago, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Leona Bevis/Marguerite Haynam Professor of Community Development, Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences
Kurt Stange, M.D., Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Associate Professor of Sociology, Medicine, and Epidemiology & Biostatistics Epidemiology
Aloen Townsend, Ph.D., University of Michigan, Professor, Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences
Carol Whitlach, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, Assistant Director and Senior Research Scientist, Benjamin Rose Institute of Cleveland