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Kristin Park

Kristin Park


Sociology Faculty

(724) 946-7251

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Campus Location:
   Old Main
Mailbox: 103


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About Me

I am a Professor of Sociology at Westminster College. 

I have a B.A. degree in Sociology and Anthropology from Colgate University, Cum Laude, with Honors in Sociology.  I also have M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  In addition, I earned a Master's Certificate in Latin American Studies from Chapel Hill. 


My classes include: Inquiry: Introduction to a Liberal Arts Education; Principles of Sociology; Deviance; Cultural Anthropology; Women in Cross-Cultural Perspective; Food, Culture and Society; Social Class in America; Social and Criminological Theory; Research Methods for Social Science and Social Sciences Capstone. I use experiential and service learning in many of my classes. 


I have a manuscript under review, on teaching and curricular issues around the Old Order Amish, at a peer-reviewed journal. 

"Using Amish Scribes’ Newspaper Letters to Modify Maslow’s Motivational Theory* is a completed manuscript that analyzes letters to Amish newspapers in terms of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Westminster Child and Family Studies alumnus Jessica Stone assisted me in coding the data. 

Park, Kristin. 2018.  "Interpreting Non-Amish Perceptions of the Old Order Amish Using Cultural Relativism and Human Rights Frameworks." Journal of Amish and Plain Anabaptist Studies (JAPAS) 6 (1): 117-43.  I conducted indepth interviews to discover and analyze the perceptions and experiences that local non-Amish residents have of and with their Old Order Amish neighbors.  I interpreted non-Amish criticisms of Amish cultural practices using a culturally relativist perspective that evaluated and offered tentative conclusions on whether such practices represent legitimate cultural variations or cause harm in ways that make them problematic.  

I regularly present my scholarship at professional meetings, including those of the North Central Sociological Association and the Amish and Plain Anabaptist Studies Association. 

Past publications include two peer-reviewed articles describing and analyzing findings from interview research of women and men choosing a voluntarily childless life. Email me if you cannot locate these articles online and would like to receive a copy. Also see:

2006.  “Stigma Management among the Voluntarily Childless.”  Pp. 304-14 in Constructions of Deviance: Social Power, Context and Interaction (Fifth edition), edited by Patricia and Peter Adler.  Thomson Wadsworth. 

My dissertation research, involving participant observation, indepth interviews and document analysis of three congregations participating in the 1980s sanctuary movement for Central American immigrants, is also published in two peer-reviewed articles.  Again, email me if you cannot find these articles online.  

Peer-reviewed teaching resources available at TRAILS (the American Sociological Association’s Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology)

2016.  Assignment: “Role Plays on Female Genital Cutting: Understanding Multiple Perspectives and Evaluating Cultural Relativism” 

2013.  Syllabus: “Sociology 303: Religion and Society”

2011.  Assignment: “Cultural Practice Paper”

Also:  2009.  “Using Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy for Teaching about Income Inequality.”  In Teaching/Learning Matters 38 (2) (Fall) (Newsletter of the American Sociological Association’s Section on Teaching and Learning in Sociology).


Fall, 2019 - Vira I. Heinz Endowed Chair, focused on teaching, curricular advocacy, scholarship and service around rural and global studies

Spring, 2019.  Sabbatical leave.

Spring, 2017.  Hoon Faculty Development Award, Westminster College

2012.  Nominated as a Westminster College Representative for Case Professor of the Year Award (Council for Advancement and Support of Education).


2021- 2023-  Member of Conference Organizing Committee, Amish and Plain Anabaptist Studies Association

2019 -  Secretary, Amish and Plain Anabaptist Studies Association. 

Spring, 2019.  Conference co-organizer of "Theory and Practice in Amish-Focused Work."  Annual conference of the Amish and Plain Anabaptist Studies Association, Millersburg, OH, Aug. 2, 2019. 


For several years I have organized an Alternative Gift Market for the campus and larger community around mid-November each year.  Students from Inquiry, Cultural Anthropology and Women in Cross-Cultural Perspective classes have done service learning by researching an issue and the agency that sponsors it, compiling their research into a professional poster and presenting their work and advocating for their agency at the public market.  Past causes have included stopping sex trafficking in India and the Philippines, supplying recycled medical supplies to Bolivia, nurturing tribal lands in the US and sponsoring timber elephants in Burma/Myanmur.