Dr. James J. Dowd, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, has been at the University of Georgia since 1977. He received a doctoral degree in Sociology from the University of Southern California in 1976. Dr. Dowd's specialty areas include the sociology of aging, social theory, sociology in film, and military sociology.
Dr. Dowd's most recent work examines the intersection of sociology, life-span human development, and the humanities. His approach to sociology is critical and theoretical; in one way or another, the work he does is influenced by Weber, Durkheim, Marcuse, Bourdieu and similar others. His latest work involves a historical overview of the emergence within sociology of the study of aging and the evolution of aging studies to life course studies. Dowd has also recently finished a project that analyzes the depiction of older characters in Hollywood films released from 1960 to the present. This work documents the almost total absence of women in these films and also their uncritical reliance on stereotypical depictions of working-class older people. Finally, Dowd is also close to completion of a book on the sociology of film. This work includes chapters on romance (coauthored with Arialle Crabtree and Bryan Cannon), social mobility,race, war, aging, teachers, and others.