Peter Francis Harvey

Faculty Advisors: 

Annette Lareau (Chair), Robin Leidner, Melissa Wilde, and Randall Collins

Research Interests: 

Gender, education, religion, and the family


Peter Harvey joined Penn as a Sociology PhD student in 2014. For his MA thesis, Peter conducted interviews with Catholic priests in the UK, examining how priests do identity work to maintain beliefs about whether women should, or should not, be ordained.

Peter’s dissertation research focuses on gender socialization. He has conducted two years of ethnographic observations in a private elementary school, alongside interviews with students, parents, and staff. During 2018/19, he will be visiting a public elementary school to carry out further research. This project aims to understand the diverse ways in which children’s behaviors, attitudes, aspirations, and learning styles are shaped by gender.

Peter's research has been approved by the University of Pennsylvania's Institutional Review Board.

Educational Background:

University of Pennsylvania
- Ph.D., Sociology (expected 2020)
- M.A., Sociology, 2016

University of Cambridge
- M.Phil., Sociology, 2013

University of Edinburgh
- M.A., Politics and Sociology, 2012 


Harvey, Peter Francis. “It’s a Total Way of Life? Catholic Priests, Women's Ordination, and Identity Work.Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. DOI: 10.1111/jssr.12530
○ ASA, Sociology of Religion Section, Graduate Student Paper Award (Honorable Mention)

Activities and Interests:
Peter likes to keep busy. Outside of his academic work, he lives as a Graduate Associate in the Harrison College House at Penn, where he mentors roughly 30 undergraduate students from all walks of life, helping support their academic and personal pursuits. He is a regular attendee at Old St. Joe’s Catholic Church in Old City. Previously, he also was a volunteer for the charity SquashSmarts, which helps disadvantaged children work towards college. Back in England, Peter played the tuba for the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain.


Contact Information: