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James J. Dowd

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Emeritus Professor

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.

  • Ph.D., Sociology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1976
  • M.A., Sociology, University of Maryland, College Park, 1971
  • B.S., Sociology, Saint Peter's College, New Jersey, 1968
Selected Publications:
  • Dowd, James J.  2017.  "Three Kongs:  Race, gender, and fear in Hollywood ape films."  Under review.
  • Crabtree, Arialle K., Bryan C. Cannon, and James J. Dowd.  2016.  "The return of the romance:  Exhaustion and recovery of a film genre."  Under review.
  • Dowd, James J. 2012. “Aging and the course of desire.”  Journal of Aging Studies.  26 (August): 285–295.
  • Dowd, James J. 2000. "Hard Jobs and Good Ambition: US Army Generals and the Rhetoric of Modesty." Symbolic Interaction 23:183-205.
  • Dowd, James J. 1996. "An act made perfect in habit: The self in the postmodern age." Current Perspectives in Social Theory 16:237-263.
  • Dowd, James J. 1991. "Social psychology in a postmodern age: A discipline without a subject." American Sociologist 26:28-49.
  • Dowd, James J. 1990. "Ever since Durkheim: The socialization of human development." Human Development 33:138-159.
  • Dowd, James J. 1975. "Aging as Exchange: A Preface to Theory." Journal of Gerontology 30:584-594.