Nancy A. Naples, PhD

Director, Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies (Affiliate)

Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor, Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies and Sociology

Research Overview

My ongoing research examines how the organization, practices and institutional discourses shape policy as well as the everyday life of different social actors. This has led me to develop several different, but interrelated research projects on how young parents on public assistance manage mothering and college, how economic development policies shape the lives of immigrants and longer term residents in the rural Midwestern US including their economic and social wellbeing, how adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse relate to medical and mental health providers, what coping strategies low income women with HIV develop to manage their lives and illness, and how activist mothers in urban communities affect changes in the health, safety, education, and housing opportunities in their neighborhoods. My current research, with Mary Bernstein, is a new research direction for me and focuses on the medical decision-making of women with early stage breast cancer or NCIS. We are collaborating with David Gregorio, sociologist and epidemiologist at UConn Health Center. My background in conducting qualitative studies of women’s experiences with different backgrounds and with interview-based studies of professionals in different institutional settings positions me to contribute to this research initiative This new research has a number of different dimensions including exploring the role of family background, support, income, race, insurance, sexuality, region, hospital practices and physician’s approach to informing their patients in contouring women’s medical decision-making in this area.


Ph.D. 1988 Sociology, Graduate School and University Center, City University of New York
M.S.W.1979 Administration and Social Policy, Hunter College School of Social Work, City University of New York
M.A. 1974 Education, New York University

Recent Publications

Contact Information
Mailing AddressWomen's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
354 Mansfield Road, Unit 2181
Storrs, CT 06269-2181

Department of Sociology
344 Mansfield Road, Unit 1068
Storrs, CT 06269-1068
Office LocationBeach Hall, Room 411