Dr. Kathleen Lowney, Professor of Sociology
Ph.D. (Religion and Society), Drew University, 1986
Office: 229) 333-5487
University Center: 1124
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I think for as long as I can remember, I read about religion. And I watched people. I remember going to Seattle Seahawks games and watching the people more than the football game! So it seems to make sense that I decided to major in both Sociology and Comparative Religions as an undergraduate. Then I chose to go to graduate school and study Religion and Society. That, in fact, is what I got my Ph.D. in at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. I studied a religious group called "the Unification Church," more commonly known as "the Moonies." In particular, I interviewed 50 couples and asked them about their gender role divisions in their marriage.
One stream of my research is easy to explain; it goes like this. After graduation, I got married and moved to Valdosta. And I needed a new research topic and well, one fell into my lap. I began a 6 year ethnographic project studying teenage Satanism. And the more I studied them, the more I began to realize that there were perceptions (or misperceptions) about Satanists and that much of those perceptions came from television talk shows, such as The Geraldo Rivera Show. So I ordered all talk show transcripts about Satanism and analyzed them. When I did that, I realized that these talk shows were pretty interesting! And so I decided to write a book about the "religion of recovery" on talk shows.
And now? Well, I am in the early stages of writing about professional wrestling, especially the WWF. The first article is an analysis of professional wrestling as soap opera for men.My second article is on how the WWF parodied one of its critics, the Parents Television Council, by creating the wrestling faction, Right To Censor. So if you are a fan of The Rock, 'Taker, Jericho, or any other wrestler -- stop by and chat a while!!