Richard Johnson Center for Anti-Violence

Maria Kefalas, Ph.D.

Maria Kefalas

(University of Chicago)
Professor of Sociology

321 Merion Hall
Phone: (610) 660-2618



Biographical Sketch

Maria Kefalas earned her bachelor's degree in Economics from Wellesley College and her master's degree and doctorate in Sociology from the University of Chicago. She worked at the Brookings Institution, held a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania, and taught at Barnard College at Columbia University before joining the faculty of Saint Joseph's University, where she is Professor of Sociology. 

Kefalas has published three books and numerous papers including  (with co-author Kathryn Edin) Promises I Can Keep (California, 2005 recipient of the William Goode Prize from the American Sociological Association for the most outstanding contribution to family scholarship) and  (with husband and co-author Patrick Carr) Hollowing out the Middle (Beacon, 2009). She lectures widely about the challenges facing poor families, youth, and rural America, Her work have been featured in  Newsweek, The Washington Post, Time, The Des Moines Register, The New York Times, The Chronicle of Higher EducationThe Philadelphia Inquirer, on NPR and The Tavis Smiley, and inspired the American RadioWorks documentary "After Welfare." Her newest project explores the impact of the Great Recession on the millenial generation.

She also serves as an Associate Member of the MacArthur Foundation's Network on Transitions to Adulthood. She is one of the founders of the viral, youth anti-violence initiative "The Philly Youth Solutions Project."

Select Publications:

Carr, Patrick, and Maria Kefalas. 2009. Hollowing Out the Middle. Boston: Beacon Press.

Carr, Patrick, and Maria Kefalas.  The Rural Brain Drain. The Chronicle of Higher Education. September 29, 2009.

Edin, Kathryn and Maria Kefalas, “Unmarried with ChildrenContexts. Vol. 4, Spring 2005: pp. 16-22.

Edin, Kathryn and Maria Kefalas, Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before

Marriage, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2005.

Kefalas, Maria, Working Class Heroes: Protecting Home, Community, and Nation in a Chicago

Neighborhood, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2003.

Click here to view Dr. Kefalas's Vitae

Links of Interest: