Dawn Marie Dow is an associate professor in the department of sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Dow received a PhD in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. She also earned a JD from Columbia University, School of Law and a BA in sociology from Bryn Mawr College. ​Dr. Dow is the faculty director of the Critical Race Initiative which annually holds the Parren J. Mitchell Conference focused a topic through which scholars examines systemic inequality in contemporary society. She is also a Faculty Associate in the Maryland Population Research Center.

Dr. Dow's research uses a range of qualitative methods to examine intersections of race, class, and gender within the context of the family, educational settings, the workplace, the law, and political mobilization. She is particularly interested in how these intersections complicate long-standing debates regarding the relative influence of economic and cultural resources on the experiences and life trajectories of members of the expanding African American middle and upper-middle-class. Through three research projects she examines how intersections of race, class and gender shape: 1) the cultural expectations of motherhood and mothers' approaches to parenting, 2) the reproduction of racial inequality within the workplace, and 3) the experiences of millennial men of color who are navigating predominately white college campuses.

Dr. Dow's book,  Mothering While Black: The Boundaries and Burdens of Middle-Class Parenthood, was published in 2019 with University of California Press. It examines African American middle and upper-middle class mothers’ approaches to parenting their children and their views and decision-making about work, family and childcare.

Dr. Dow's work has also been published in journals such as Gender & Society, Journal of Marriage and Family, Sociology of Race & Ethnicity and Mobilization.


  • PhD
    University of California-Berkeley
  • MA
    University of California-Berkeley
  • JD
    Columbia University
  • BA
    Bryn Mawr College

Related Students (Listed by Student on Student's Profile)

  • Simone Durham
  • Angelica Loblack
  • Robyn T. Moore
  • Chandra V. Reyna
Dawn Dow picture
4131 Parren J. Mitchell Art-Sociology Building
Department of Sociology
dmdow [at] umd.edu