• Caroline Faulkner
Associate Professor of Sociology



Office: GER3rd fl


Ongoing Research

Disaffiliation and Assimilation among the Former Amish

Dr. Caroline Faulkner is conducting a research study of individuals who have left Old Order Amish communities.  The purpose of this research is to learn about people’s experiences of leaving Amish communities and entering "English" ones.  This research will provide a better understanding of the former Amish's experiences and may help counter the misrepresentations (or incomplete representations) that seem to be so common in the media recently.

Dr. Faulkner invites individuals aged 18 or older who were raised in Old Order Amish communities but are no longer members of an Amish community to participate in an interview as part of the research project.  Interviews will be arranged at the participant’s convenience and last between 1 and 2 hours.  Participation is completely voluntary, and information about respondents will be kept confidential.  Participants will receive $20 in compensation.  Potential respondents can learn more about the study by viewing the information sheet here.

Research Interests

Dr. Faulkner’s research revolves around matters of belonging.  Her work has been guided by this larger question: How do individuals who cross different kinds of borders integrate into their places of destination?  In her previous research, Dr. Faulkner focused on families who crossed international borders.  She investigated how national origin and gender shaped integration experiences among children of immigrants in her dissertation research.  This research later culminated in her book Economic Mobility and Cultural Assimilation among Children of Immigrants (2011, LFB Scholarly Publishing). 

Her more recent work still centers on belonging, but she has shifted her attention to a border that is not international but is still marked by religious, cultural, and social difference: the Amish-English “border.”  Dr. Faulkner’s current research focuses on individuals who have left Old Order Amish communities.  In this work, she explores how social factors—including gender—shape their experiences of border crossing and incorporation into their communities of destination.  This project speaks to broader issues of religious change and provides a useful framework for understanding how social forces shape various kinds of border crossings.

Download full CV.


B.A., University of Virginia; M.S. and Ph.D., University of Wiconsin - Madison

Course Information

On research leave for 2014-2015.