Associate Professor and Chair
Office: 495 Philip G. Hoffman Hall
Ph.D., Sociology, University of Kansas
M.A., Sociology, Idaho State University
B.S., Design, University of California-Davis
Visual sociologist, Tracy Xavia Karner, is an expert in how people use visual media to understand themselves and their worlds. An award-winning teacher and a nationally-known expert in the field of qualitative sociology, she explores the social contexts of image creation and dissemination as well as their role in everyday visual sociability. Karner’s recent writings investigate photography in fine art venues and everyday uses, such as Facebook, and have been published in both popular and academic venues.
Professor Karner has co-authored a popular textbook with Carol Warren, "Discovering Qualitative Methods: Ethnography, Interviews, Documents, and Images," 3rd Edition, (Oxford University Press, 2014). She is the author and online presenter of a 21 segment video series used internationally in introduction to sociology courses, "Sociology on the Job," for Pearson Publishing (2013). Additionally, in her research, Professor Karner has explored visual and cultural perspectives with regard to gender, popular culture, mental health, social policy, art aesthetics, ethnicity and nationalist movements which have been published in several academic journals, including Visual Studies, Symbolic Interactionism, Qualitative Health Research, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Communication and Cognition, American Studies Journal, The Clinical Sociology Review, Journal of Aging Studies, Journal of Aging and Mental Health, The American Sociologist and the Journal of Aging and Social Policy.Active in the Houston photography community, Professor Karner serves on the advisory board of Houston Center for Photography, is a supporter and past officer of Photo Forum at Museum of Fine Arts Houston and served as a reviewer for Fotofest's 2010 Meeting Place. She is currently working on a book, "Passion, Possibility, and Photography: Creating an Art World in Houston, Texas," which chronicles 40 years of the Houston photography community, from its inception to its development as an internationally significant destination for photography.
- Brown Foundation Fellow at the Dora Maar House, Ménerbes, France, May 2014
- Joseph S. Werlin Sociology Faculty Award to Promote Latin American-U.S. Cultural Understanding for AY 2012-2013 and AY 2013-2014
- Ross Lence Teaching Excellence Award, Social Sciences, University of Houston, 2007
- Finalist, UH Teaching Excellence Award in Tenure/Tenure Track, 2006
- Finalist, UH Teaching Excellence Award in Innovative Teaching, 2006
- Research Fellowship, Friends of Women Studies, University of Houston, 2004
- Visual and Qualitative Sociology
- Sociology of Culture, Narrative and Self
- Community Services and Program Evaluation
- Qualitative Methods
- Seminar in Visual Sociology
- Seminar in Sociology of Culture
- Qualitative Methods
- Social Psychology
- Sociology of Art
- Sociology of Culture
- Visual Sociology
- Karner, Tracy Xavia, 2017, "The Facebook Gaze: Disciplining Action in Online Interpersonal Space" in Social Spaces and Social Relations (Małgorzata Bogunia-Borowska, ed), Switzerland: Peter Lang Publisher.
- Karner, Tracy Xavia, 2017, "Storied Lives" in Martha Corn's The Ground on Which I Stand: Photographs of Tamina. College Station, Texas: A & M Press.
- Karner, Tracy Xavia, 2015, "An Experiential Glimpse" foreward in Harvey Stein's Briefly Seen: New York Street Life, Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.
- Karner, Tracy Xavia, 2014. "A Visual Typology of Urban Narratives: the photographs of Susan A. Barnett," Visual Studies, 29(3): 294-298.
- Karner, Tracy Xavia, 2011. "The Photographs of Øyvind Hjelmen" foreward in Øyvind Hjelmen's Elsewhere. Heidelberg, Germany: Kehrer Verlag.
- Karner, Tracy Xavia, 2009. “Dualities of Gender and Transformation” foreward pps. 12-20 in Shelley Calton’s Hard Knocks: Rolling with the Derby Girls. Germany: Kehrer Verlag.
- Karner, Tracy Xavia, 2009. “Fearless, Outspoken, and Absolutely Free: Women and Creativity” in Thrive (Caroline Goeser, editor), Houston: Women’s Studies at the University of Houston.
- Karner, Tracy Xavia, 2008. “Photographic Knowing: Engaging Perspectives through Photography,” SPOT, Fall: 22-25.
- Karner, Tracy Xavia, 2009. “Changing Lens: an Autoethnographic Account of Seeing and Knowing” in Selected Articles from the 2nd Annual Congress on International Qualitative Research (Selección de artículos del segundo congreso internacioal de investigación cualitativa), Universidad de Guanajuato, Mexico.
- Karner, Tracy Xavia, 2008. “If Only Time Healed All Wounds: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Older Men” Generations: Journal of the American Society on Aging , special issue edited by Edward Thompson, Spring: 82-87.
- Karner, Tracy Xavia and Donna Bobbit-Zeher, 2006. “Losing Selves: Dementia Care as Disruption and Transformation” Symbolic Interaction, 28(4): 549-570.
- Karas, J. and Tracy Xavia Karner, 2005. “Understanding the Diabetic Body-Self” Qualitative Health Research, 15(8): 1086-1104.
- Whitney, Julie, Mark E. Kunik , Victor Molinari , Frederick G. Lopez , Tracy X. Karner, 2004. “Psychological Predictors of Admission and Discharge: Global Assessment of Functioning Scale Scores for Geropsychiatric Inpatients” Journal of Aging and Mental Health, 8(6): 505-513.
- Montgomery, R., Tracy Xavia Karner and K. Kosloski. 2003. “Weighing the Success of a National Demonstration to Create State Responsibility for Long Term Care,” Journal of Aging and Social Policy, 14(3-4): 119-139. Reprinted in: F. Caro & R. Morris (Eds.), Devolution and Aging Policy. New York: Haworth, (2002).
- Starns, M., T.X. Karner, and R. Montgomery. 2002. “Exemplars of Successful Alzheimer’s Demonstration Projects,” Home Health Care Quarterly, 21 (3-4): 141-175. Reprinted in A New Look at Community Respite Programs: Utilization, Satisfaction, and Development (R. Montgomery, editor) Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press, Inc. 2002.
- Karner, T.X. and Hall, L.C. 2002. “Successful Strategies for Serving Diverse Populations,” Home Health Care Quarterly, 21 (3-4): 107-132. Reprinted in A New Look at Community Respite Programs: Utilization, Satisfaction, and Development (R. Montgomery, editor) Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press, Inc. 2002.
- Montgomery, R., T.X. Karner, K. Kosloski, and J. Schaefer. 2002. “Initial Findings from the Evaluation of the Alzheimer’s Disease Demonstration Grant to States Program,” Home Health Care Quarterly, 21 (3-4): 5-32. Reprinted in A New Look at Community Respite Programs: Utilization, Satisfaction, and Development (R. Montgomery, editor) Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press, Inc. 2002.
- Kosloski, K., J. Schaefer, T.X. Karner, and D. Allwardt. 2002. “The Role of Cultural Factors on Clients’ Attitudes toward Caregiving and Perceptions of Services,” Home Health Care Quarterly, 21 (3-4): 65-88. Reprinted in A New Look at Community Respite Programs: Utilization, Satisfaction, and Development (R. Montgomery, editor) Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press, Inc. 2002.
- Karner, T.X. 2001. “Caring for an Aging Society: Cohort Values and Eldercare Services,” Journal of Aging and Social Policy, 13(1): 15-36.