Alexis Franzese

Assistant Professor of Sociology
Lindner Hall - Arts & Sciences 212B
2035 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244 (336) 278-5857

Brief Biography

Alexis T. Franzese is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Elon University.  Her areas of expertise include medical sociology and social psychology.


Dr. Franzese completed a doctoral degree in Sociology at Duke University (2006) as well as a doctoral degree in Psychology (Clinical) at Duke University (2011).  Her clinical internship was completed at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center (2010-2011) in Durham, NC.  Her teaching and research are informed by her training in both sociology and psychology.

Employment History

Dr. Franzese joined the Elon University faculty in the fall of 2011.

Courses Taught

Introduction to Sociology

The Self & Society

Sociology of Aging

Sociology and Mental Health

Social Construction of Deviance

Upcoming Courses Include:

The Science of Happiness (GST course)

Medical Sociology

Sociology of Reproduction and Family-Building

Leadership Positions

Dr. Franzese is faculty advisor for Alpha Kappa Delta, Elon's Sociology Honor Society.

Current Projects

Dr. Franzese conducts research an array of topics which are linked through their focus on issues of self and identity and the implications of these issues for well-being.   She uses both quantitative and qualitative research methods to address these topics. Her scholarship is informed by both sociological and psychological perspectives and training in social psychology within both disciplines. Her main line of research is on the topic of authentic behavior and explores (a) the social determinants of authentic behavior, (b) the mental health consequences of inauthentic behavior, and (c) authenticity in the context of self-regulation. In addition, she has a new line of scholarship on issues of identity surrounding reproductive decisions and family-building.

Three current projects include:

  • Authenticity and Sexual Orientation

  • Authenticity and Extramarital Affairs

  • Identity, Authenticity and Family-Building

Students with interest in gaining research experience in these and/or related areas are invited to contact Dr. Franzese (, to discuss possible training opportunities.


Selected publications include:

Franzese, A.T. & Patterson, A. 2014. Sociology of deviance. In A. Scull (Ed.) Cultural Sociology of Mental Illness. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Franzese, A.T.  2013. Motivation, motives, and individual agency. In J. DeLamater (Ed.) Handbook of social psychology (2nd edition) (pp. 281-318). New York: Springer.

Webb, K B. & Franzese, A.T.  2013.  Having the most difficult conversation. The North Carolina Psychologist, 65(3), p. 12.

Franzese, A.T. 2010. Being “Real” at work. The North Carolina Psychologist, 62 (4), p. 1, 4.

Franzese, A.T.  2009.  Authenticity: Disciplinary perspectives and dynamic experiences.  In P. Vannini, & J.P. Williams (Eds.), Authenticity in culture, self and society (pp. 87-101).  London: Ashgate.

Vannini, P. & Franzese, A.T.  2008. The authenticity of self: Conceptualization, personal experience, and practice. Sociology Compass, 2, 1621-1637.

Franzese, Alexis T.  2008.  Self-Presentation.  In International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences,  2nd edition, (Vol. 7, pp.423-424).  Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA.