Dr. Amy Manning Kirk


From the time I was in junior high, I unknowingly had a fascination with social science.  I often pondered questions like, “How do laws change?  And does society affect change or does government?”

 As an undergraduate at Texas A&M University, I took Introduction to Sociology, and was hooked.  I saw Sociology as a tool that could be used to answer my persistent questions.  After my undergraduate work at Texas A&M, I attended Louisiana State University for both my Masters and Ph.D. in Sociology.

 While at Louisiana State University, I met and married my husband.  I have always felt that these personal events in my life led me to the specialty of Marriage and the Family.  While my burning questions were the incubus for my passion, social institutions (family and religion) became the cornerstone for my ongoing interests.

 To date, my research has been devoted to understanding how martial commitment is socially constructed.  New interests include how the Protestant Work Ethic continues to influence or use of leisure time. 

Besides teaching and writing, my other passions include spending time with my family, decorating, photography and reading.  I am a goal-setter, but still haven’t conquered homemade bread!  I currently live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with my husband and three children.

Classes Taught: The Sociology of the Family, The Sociology of Religion, Marriage and the Family, and The Sociology of Education

Research Interests: I am currently working on a critical literature review entitled Family, Protestantism, and Free Time: Shaping Identity as it Relates to Time Unplugged concerning how the tradition of the protestant work ethic translates into the allocation of free time in families.

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