sociology faculty

Christopher A. Faircloth, PhD
Associate Professor and Chair
Areas of Interest:
Medical Sociology and Health Disparities
Social Psychology

Faircloth earned his doctorate in 2000 from the University of Florida in Sociology with specializations in medical sociology/aging and social psychology. In addition, he performed an outside concentration in philosophy. Before coming to Xavier he was a National Institute on Aging Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Boston University Gerontology Center, a Senior Research Health Associate with the Veteran’s Administration Rehabilitation Outcomes Research Center, and an Assistant Professor in Occupational Therapy at the University of Florida.

His primary research interests are in the “chronic illness experience,” health disparities, a sociology of the body, social psychology, and qualitative research methods. Faircloth has edited or co-edited two volumes, one on the aging body, and a second on medicine and masculinity. He is currently working on a third focusing on the mind and medicine. In addition, he has published numerous articles and book chapters. In his research into health disparities, most notably self-management of Type 2 Diabetes among lower socioeconomic status African Americans, Faircloth has had the opportunity to employ several Xavier students as research assistants. He looks forward to continuing this rewarding relationship long into the future.

Since coming to Xavier, Faircloth has taught Introduction to Sociology, Society and the Individual, Sociology of Deviance, Medical Sociology, Social Problems, and Sociological Theory. Faircloth finds great joy in the opportunity to teach Sociology in New Orleans, the most culturally unique city in America. For students, there is no better place to learn sociology, to serve and learn from a special community, a special city, and a special people—New Orleanians.


Farrah D. Gafford, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Areas of Interest:
Urban Sociology
Qualitative Research Methods
Sociology of the Family
Race and Ethnicity

Farrah D. Gafford is currently an assistant professor at Xavier University of Louisiana. She received her Ph.D. from Tulane University in 2008. In her dissertation entitled “Life in the Park: Community Solidarity, Culture and the Case of A Black Middle-Class Neighborhood” she examined how residents in Pontchartrain Park, New Orleans’ first black middle-class subdivision, used institutions and organizations to create and maintain community solidarity in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Within Sociology she specializes in urban sociology, qualitative research methods, sociology of the family and race and ethnicity.

I aim to help students see that sociology can transcend the classroom and be used in understanding their everyday lives. I cannot think of one aspect of our lives that the discipline of sociology does not address or examine. Sociologists explore topics such as; the media, religion, neighborhoods, work, disasters, relationships, sports and family dynamics. I view my teaching as more than just a professional obligation. My classes serve as a space where I actively work to create a sense of community with Xavier students. In my class, I want students to know that everyone’s participation is not only valued but that it is the key component of a classroom community.


Silas H. Lee, Ph.D.
Ernest N. Morial Professor in Public Policy
Assistant Professor
Areas of Interest:
Analysis of Social Change
African American Urban History
Public Opinion Research

Silas Lee earned his doctorate from the University of New Orleans in 1999, in Urban Studies, with a concentration on social and cultural change. His research initiatives have included measuring and analyzing the local and national opinions of citizens about social, political and demographic trends and issues. Dr. Lee has served as a consultant to numerous businesses, governmental agencies, and public and private corporations to incorporate a social analysis of the perceptions and trends in urban America for strategic planning. Aside from providing consultation and analysis to numerous political candidates, opinion makers, corporations and agencies, Dr. Lee’s polls and research have been cited by print and electronic media in over 600 publications worldwide.

A primary goal of Dr. Lee’s classes is to prepare students for the application of the sociological theories to contemporary social trends and issues. By incorporating diverse teaching methods to the learning process, students are able to appreciate the multiple dimensions of sociology in life and society.


Claire Norris, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
(504) 520-5182
Areas of Interest:
Health Disparities
Social Networks
Social Support
Network Capital

Claire Norris joined the Department of Sociology at Xavier University in the fall of 2009, just after completing her dissertation at Louisiana State University.  Her primary research interests are stratification and health inequalities.  More specifically, her research asks how social networks differentially affect mental health outcomes across social groups, through the provision of social support.

She plans to expand her dissertation research by exploring physical health distributions across social groups.  Specifically, she intends to examine physical health in the stress-support process across social groups.   She is also interested in examining how such mediating factors as social support, self-esteem, and mastery differentially affect social groups in immediate and long-term recovery in disaster-affected areas (i.e., environmental disturbances, such as hurricanes, major flooding; or manmade disturbances, such as war).  

Her pedagogical goal is to encourage students to understand that, although sociology shares a core methodology and approach with its counterparts in the physical sciences, sociologists differ from physical scientists because they are part of the phenomenon that they study.  Thus, her main objective is to help students understand their positions in society and how their social positions (i.e., race, class, and gender) affect access to social resources (such as education, social support, and job information), and thus outcomes (i.e., job opportunities, job promotions, and health).  Exploring these perspectives is instrumental in developing students’ sociological imaginations both within and outside the classroom setting.


Amy Bellone-Hite, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
(504) 520-7518
Areas of Interest:
Labor Markets
Latin America
Globalization and Development 

Bellone Hite earned her doctorate in 2001 from Tulane University’s Center for Latin American Studies, with a major concentration in Sociology and minor concentrations in Economics and Political Science.  Her major research interest is how globalization and development affect citizens and social structures in developing countries, especially in Latin America.  She also conducts research on labor market inequalities, particularly in urban areas such as New Orleans, for which she employs Xavier students as paid researchers.  Bellone Hite is co-editor of two volumes on globalization and development and several articles on employment in urban areas. 

Since joining the department in 2004 she has taught “Introduction to Sociology”, “Social Policy”, “Social Problems”, “Race, Class and Gender Inequality”, “Quantitative Research Methods”, “Social Theory”, “Urban Sociology”, and “Globalization and Comparative Social Change”.  Her favorite part about teaching at Xavier is having the opportunity to meet many different types of students, but also having the opportunity to work one-on-one with Sociology students over the course of their time here at Xavier.  Bellone Hite believes very strongly that a background in Sociology makes students uniquely qualified to compete as workers and to contribute as citizens in our fast-paced, information-based, ever-changing world.  She works to make sure that Xavier’s sociology students get the personal attention and the challenging learning environment that will empower them as they make their way in the world of work or graduate or professional school.

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