Timothy J. Dowd


Department Chair

Office: 231 Tarbutton Hall

Phone: 404-727-6259

Fax: 404-727-7532

Email: tdowd@emory.edu


  • Ph.D. in Sociology, Princeton University, 1996
  • M.A. in Sociology, Arizona State University, 1988
  • B.A. in Sociology, Grand Canyon College, 1986


Chair, Sociology of Culture Section, American Sociological Association, 2015-2016

Editor-in-Chief, Poetics: Journal of Empirical Research on Culture, the Media and the Arts, 2010-2014 

Fulbright Speicialist; University of Amsterdam, 2013 

Erasmus Chair of the Humanities; Erasmus University Rotterdam, 2007-2008


The First-Gen Experience: My Conversation with Dr. Marisela Martinez-Cola


As an institutionalist, I am fascinated with the processes by which classifications and practices become widely accepted. Thus, I have studied such things as aesthetic classifications (e.g., the rise of the R&B market in the early to mid 1900s, the evolving orchestral canon from the early 1800s to the present); business strategies (e.g., decentralized production of multinational record companies, post-antitrust merger strategies of railroad companies); and how careers in creative industries unfold amidst these broader classifications and strategies (e.g., career trajectories in the arts). This focus on the institutionalization process has led me to emphasize the importance of historical context, the implications of microlevel processes for mesolevel fields, and the utility of bringing multiple theories into dialogue. While much of my research addresses music as well as the careers in creative industries, my concerns are much broader than that. As editor of Poetics, I enjoyed featuring cultural sociology that runs the gamut in terms of methodologies, theories and traditions. As a professor, I likewise emphasize to students the diversity that marks the study of culture.

Research Topics: culture, categories and classification, inequality, media, music, work and industry


Here are some of my key publications:

Timothy J. Dowd, Trent Ryan and Yun Tai. 2016. "Talk of Heritage: Critical Benchmarks & DIY Preservationism in Progressive Rock." Popular Music and Society 39: 97-125.

Timothy J. Dowd and Diogo L. Pinheiro. 2016. "The Ties Among the Notes: The Social Capital of Jazz Musicians in Three Metropolitan Areas." Work & Occupations 40: 341-464.

William G. Roy and Timothy J. Dowd. 2010. “What is Sociological about Music?Annual Review of Sociology 36: 183-203.

Cathryn Johnson, Timothy J. Dowd and Cecilia Ridgeway. 2006. "Legitimacy as a Social Process." Annual Review of Sociology 32: 53-78.

Timothy J. Dowd. 2004. “Concentration and Diversity Revisited: Production Logics and the US Mainstream Recording Market, 1940-1990.” Social Forces 82: 1411-1455.

Timothy J. Dowd. 2003. “Structural Power and the Construction of Markets: The Case of Rhythm and Blues.” Comparative Social Research 21: 147-202.

Frank Dobbin and Timothy J. Dowd. 2000. "The Market That Antitrust Built: Public Policy, Private Coercion, and Railroad Acquisitions, 1825-1922." American Sociological Review 65: 631-657.

Here are some places to access my publications:

My Academia.edu Page

My ResearchGate.net Page