Valerie Chepp, PhD
Lerner Research Institute
I am a qualitative researcher in the Lerner Research Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. Previously, I served as associate professor of sociology and director of the Social Justice Program at Hamline University, where I taught courses on Social Justice, Sociology of Gender, Ethnographic Field Methods, Youth Activism, Introductory Sociology, Sociology of Storytelling, and American Cool.
My areas of specialization include the study of culture and social change, intersecting social systems of inequality, critical pedagogy, and qualitative research methods. Broadly speaking, I’m interested in the ways marginalized groups use cultural resources as a form of political protest and engagement. I explore this phenomenon in my scholarship on art and social change, including research on African American verbal art traditions and an analysis of the sociological significance of Jack Kerouac’s novel On The Road, as well as two articles on Black feminist thought and women rappers (here and here). My newest book Speaking Truths: Young Adults, Identity, and Spoken Word Activism (2022, Rutgers University Press) draws upon more than two years of ethnographic fieldwork to reveal how neoliberalism has shaped contemporary young adults’ activist approaches.
My pedagogical scholarship includes my edited teaching anthology Readings in Social Justice: Power, Inequality, & Action (2022, Cognella), as well as co-authored chapters on ironic sexism, video pedagogy, and equity-minded high impact educational practices (here and here). My methodological scholarship includes my co-edited and co-authored book Cognitive Interviewing Methodology (2014, Wiley). I've also co-authored work on intersectionality and the sociology of social justice.
I hold a PhD in Sociology from the University of Maryland, an MA in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago, and a BA in Sociology and Women’s Studies from the University of Wisconsin.