Frances Norwood

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Frances Norwood

Assistant Research Professor in Anthropology


Dr. Norwood is a medical anthropologist with research on innovations in health policy, long term care and community-based supports for persons who are aging or living with disabilities. She is currently doing work on the intersection of climate change and stakeholder engagement, looking at how best to frame and support policy, communications, and outreach to government, industry, and the public on topics related to climate action – in other words, the social-cultural side of climate change. She has multiple publications, including most recently an article on innovative responses to the Covid-19 pandemic for long-term care (Norwood and Lynn, 2020) and the second edition of a book about improving end-of-life health policy titled, The Maintenance of Life (2020). She is the recipient of the 2011 Margaret Mead award for anthropology.

Medical anthropology, qualitative and quantitative methodology, improvement science methods, critical medical anthropology, and discourse theory. Specialty interest areas include: aging in place, healthy aging, climate action, climate change, disability, end-of-life care, health care reform, health policy, independent living, innovative health care solutions, long term care, quality improvement, social policy, spirituality and health, and stakeholder engagement; United States and The Netherlands.

Dr. Norwood is currently working on the intersection of climate action and culture change, looking at how policy, communications and outreach can be framed using data-driven content within culturally sensitive and socially effective language. She recently co-authored an article on innovations for long term care in the aftermath of Covid-19 and is building on her passion for the environment as a long-time sailor, environmentalist, and live abroad. For more on her current work, see Dr. Norwood’s LinkedIn or on innovations in long term care and end of life, visit Dr. Norwood's website.

Dr. Norwood's complete CV

Anth 3531/6531: Methods in Sociocultural Anthropology
Anth 6391: Topics: Life, Death and Modernity


Last updated September 9, 2020



2020  Norwood, F. The Maintenance of Life:  Preventing Social Death Through Euthanasia Talk and End-of-Life Care, Lessons from the Netherlands. Second edition. Ethnographic Studies in Medical Anthropology, Carolina Academic Press.  Durham, NC.  Published in French Mourir un Acte de Vie. Trans. Pierre Viens and Lise Laberge. Quebec: Presses de l'Université Laval, 2010. Winner of the 2011 Margaret Mead Award.

2009  Norwood, F. The Maintenance of Life: Preventing Social Death Through Euthanasia Talk and End-of-Life Care, Lessons from the Netherlands. Ethnographic Studies in Medical Anthropology. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press. Published in French as Mourir un acte de vie. Trans. Pierre Viens and Lise Laberge. Quebec: Presses de l'Université Laval, 2010. Winner of the 2011 Margaret Mead Award.

Selected Articles and Book Chapters

Norwood, Frances and Joanne Lynn. 2020.  Taking long term care from crisis to thriving in the time of COVID-19.  Journal of Aging Studies, 54(September). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier

Norwood, Frances.  2018.  The New Normal:  Mediated Death and Assisted Dying in the United States.  In A Companion to the Anthropology of Death.  Antonius C. G. M. Robben, editor.  Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. 

Norwood, Frances.  2015.  End-of-Life Choices in International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2nd Edition.  Elsevier Limited. Oxford, UK.

Norwood, Frances.  2013.  “A Window into Dutch Life and Death:  Euthanasia and End-of-Life in the Public-Private Space of Home,” in Transitions and Transformations:  Cultural Perspectives on the Life Course, edited by Caitrin Lynch and Jason Danely.  Berghahn Publishers, NY.

Norwood, Frances, Gerrit Kimsma, and Margaret P. Battin.  2009.  “Vulnerability and the ‘slippery slope’ at the end-of-life: A qualitative study of euthanasia, general practice and home death in the Netherlands.”  Family Practice 26(6):472-480; doi: 10.1093/fampra/cmp065.

Norwood, Frances.  2007.  “Nothing More To Do:  Euthanasia, General Practice, and End-of-Life Discourse in the Netherlands.”  Medical Anthropology 26(2)139-174.

Norwood, Frances.  2006.  “The Ambivalent Chaplain:  Negotiating Structural and Ideological Difference on the Margins of Modern-Day Hospital Medicine.”  Medical Anthropology 25(1):1-29. Reprinted as April 2006 Article-of-the-Month with the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education.

Ph.D. 2005, University of California-San Francisco and Berkeley
M.A. 1994, American University
B.A. 1989, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill