Susan Chase PhD

Department Chairperson of Sociology
Professor of Sociology Henry Kendall College of Arts & Sciences


Susan Chase’s current research focuses on developments in narrative inquiry, a type of qualitative research that explores the narrative character of social life—the stories people tell to make sense of their lives, the stories organizations tell to explain what they are doing, the stories institutions generate to legitimate everyday practices. “Narrative Inquiry: Toward Theoretical and Methodological Maturity,” was published in 2018 in The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research, 5th ed. Her book, Learning to Speak, Learning to Listen: How Diversity Works on Campus, uses the methods of narrative inquiry to explore undergraduates' engagement with diversity issues on one particular campus (not TU). Based on interviews with students, faculty, staff, and administrators, as well as content analyses of the student newspaper and student government minutes, she shows how some students at predominantly white City University (a pseudonym) have learned to speak and listen to each other across social differences, especially race. She argues that learning to speak and listen in this way exemplifies the educational process itself—opening one's mind, thinking critically, and re-considering taken-for-granted ideas.

Ph.D., York University
M.A., York University
B.A., Dickinson College

Understanding narratives in various institutional contexts, such as higher education

The following may be selected publications rather than a comprehensive list.


Susan E. Chase, Learning to Speak, Learning to Listen: How Diversity Works on Campus. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2010.

Susan E. Chase and Mary F. Rogers. Mothers and Children: Feminist Analyses and Personal Narratives. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2001.

Susan E. Chase. Ambiguous Empowerment: The Work Narratives of Women School Superintendents. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1995.

SOC 2133 Inequality in American Society
SOC 3053 Socialization
SOC 4123 Qualitative Methods of Sociological Research
SOC 4973 Senior Seminar