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. 

Featured Publications

Kaler, Amy and John R Parkins

Sociology of Development. 2015 January; 1 (3):400-416

Angotti, Nicole, Maggie Frye, Amy Kaler, Michelle Poulin, Susan Watkins and Sara Yeatman

Population and Development Review. 2014 January; 40 (3):447-473

Kaler, Amy

Canadian Journal of Sociology. 2012 January; 38 (3):309-332

Kaler, Amy

Social science & medicine. 2009 January; 68 (9):1711-1719

Kaler, Amy

Social science & medicine. 2004 January; 59 (2):285-297