Amy Kaler, PhD, MA, DipEd, BA

Professor, Faculty of Arts - Sociology Dept


Professor, Faculty of Arts - Sociology Dept
(780) 492-0474
5-9 Tory (H.M.) Building
11211 Saskatchewan Drive NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2H4



I have a PhD in Sociology and Feminist Studies from the University of Minnesota, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in Population Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. I also have a Master of Arts in Administration and Policy Studies in Education, a Diploma in Teaching English as a Second Language, and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, all from McGill University. I have received the Faculty of Arts Research Excellence Award at both the assistant professor and associate professor levels. 


My substantive research has focused on sexual and reproductive health (especially HIV/AIDS and fertility control) in sub-Saharan Africa, with particular attention to the cultural, social and institutional dimensions of public health interventions. I am also interested in the dynamics of broad economic transformation and rural household survival in Africa, and in the evolving functions of international development and humanitarian assistance. I have worked in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Uganda, South Africa, Ethiopia and South Sudan with an international array of colleagues in public health, agriculture, demography and religious studies, and have done historical work in Canada. My work has been primarily qualitative, with an emphasis on open-ended interviews, personal narratives and textual analysis. 

More broadly, I am interested in the unintended consequences of social change. What are the unexpected and unanticipated results of the things we do to improve our lives and the world around us? I am also interested in how people imagine the worlds they live in. What ideas, values and visions do we use to interpret our experiences and to strategize our actions, both individually and collectively? 


I teach undergraduate courses in the sociology of gender, family studies, population, and international development. I teach graduate courses in gender and family. My students at both undergraduate and graduate levels have come from sociology, anthropology, political science, women's and gender studies, English and film studies, rural sociology, nursing, public health, geography and anthropology. 


SOC 271 - Introduction to the Family

An introduction to the study of family relationships and their variant forms with focus on mate selection, couple, kin, age, and gender dynamics, family dissolution or reconstitution and change. A comparative approach with emphasis on families in Canada.

SOC 301 - Sociology of Gender

Comparative study of sex roles in selected societies with an emphasis on contemporary Canada; sex-specific role behaviours and theories regarding their origin; recent sociological research on the social effects of sex roles. Prerequisite: SOC 100 or consent of instructor.

SOC 402 - Topics in Sociology

Prerequisite: SOC 100 or consent of the instructor. Note: Consult the Department for any additional prerequisites. Course may be taken more than once if topic(s) vary.

SOC 670 - Sociology of Gender and Family

Browse more courses taught by Amy Kaler


"Food, donors, and dependency syndrome (s) in South Sudan."

Author(s): Kaler, Amy and John R Parkins
Publication Date: 2015
Publication: Sociology of Development
Volume: 1
Issue: 3
Page Numbers: 400-416

"Popular moralities and institutional rationalities in Malawi's struggle against AIDS."

Author(s): Angotti, Nicole, Maggie Frye, Amy Kaler, Michelle Poulin, Susan Watkins and Sara Yeatman
Publication Date: 2014
Publication: Population and Development Review
Volume: 40
Issue: 3
Page Numbers: 447-473

“The National Gain is Nil”: Talking about infant mortality in interwar Alberta."

Author(s): Kaler, Amy
Publication Date: 2012
Publication: Canadian Journal of Sociology
Volume: 38
Issue: 3
Page Numbers: 309-332

"Health interventions and the persistence of rumour: the circulation of sterility stories in African public health campaigns."

Author(s): Kaler, Amy
Publication Date: 2009
Publication: Social science & medicine
Volume: 68
Issue: 9
Page Numbers: 1711-1719

"AIDS-talk in everyday life: the presence of HIV/AIDS in men's informal conversation in Southern Malawi."

Author(s): Kaler, Amy
Publication Date: 2004
Publication: Social science & medicine
Volume: 59
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 285-297