Mary Byrnes
PhD, Associate Professor Emerita

About Me

Mary E. Byrnes was Associate Professor of Sociology at Marygrove College. Dr. Byrnes earned her Ph.D. At the Institute of Gerontology at Wayne State University where she was a National Institute of Aging Predoctoral Fellow. Her research interests examine the intersection between housing, inequalities, and older adults utilizing visual sociology methods. Dr. Byrnes spent several years working as an activist with Detroit Eviction Defense, an organization that works to stop foreclosure and eviction in the city. She has been published in Aging and Society, Senior Housing and Care, Applied Sociology and Applied Gerontology. Dr. Byrnes is currently finishing a book on aging and housing in Detroit under contract by Brill/Haymarket Press. In addition, she is working on a documentary short about an older kinetic artist who built his home on Lake Huron. Previous to Marygrove, Dr. Byrnes was Assistant Professor of Sociology at Western Carolina University and a Visiting Instructor at Loyola University Chicago. 

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Mary Byrnes

Honors and Awards

  • Presidential Award for Excellence in Research

  • Innovative Research Award (GE Healthcare)

Areas of Interest

  • Sociology of Aging, housing, intersectionality


  • Dillaway, H. & Byrnes, M.E. (2016). Grow Old With Me!: Future Directions of Age, Race, and Place Scholarship. 

    Sociology Compass.

  • Byrnes, M.E. (2011). Moving Behaviors of Very Low-Income Older Adults.

    Senior Housing and Care Journal. 19:1, 35-48.

  • Byrnes, M.E. (2011). A City Within A City: A “Snapshot” of Aging in a HUD 202 in Detroit, Michigan. 

    Journal of Aging Studies, 25:3, 253-272.


  • Ph.D.,Wayne State University

  • Masters of Urban Planning (MUP), Wayne State University

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