Julie Dowling

Profile picture for Julie Dowling

Contact Information

Department of Latina/Latino Studies
1207 W. Oregon Street
M/C 136
Associate Professor


Julie A. Dowling (PhD Sociology UT-Austin, 2004) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Latina/Latino Studies and Affiliate Faculty in the Departments of Sociology and Gender and Women's Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has published articles on Latino racial identity construction and racial attitudes in a variety of journals including Social Science QuarterlySociological Perspectives, and Latino Studies. Her article publications have received multiple accolades including the Distinguished Contribution to Research Award for “Best Article” from the Latino/a Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association, and an Honorable Mention for the 2009 Distinguished Contribution to Sociological Perspectives Award.

Dr. Dowling's research has focused on the US Census and how definitions of race and ethnicity are understood by Latinos. Her book, Mexican Americans and the Question of Race (2014, UT-Austin Press), explores the disjuncture between federal definitions and regional constructions of race, examining Mexican American responses to the U.S. Census race question. The book received an Honorable Mention for the Oliver Cromwell Cox Book Award from the American Sociological Association which recognizes the best book published in the field of sociology of race/ethnicity. She has continued her work on US Census issues, serving on the US Census Bureau’s National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations (NAC) for the past five years. She is currently Vice-Chair of this committee which makes important recommendations on issues related to counting vulnerable populations, including racial/ethnic and linguistic minorities. 

Dr. Dowling is originally from Texas, the daughter of a Mexican American mother from the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas and an Irish American father from the Midwest.

Research Interests

Racial/Ethnic Identity 

Racial Attitudes and Ideology

Gender and Sexuality


Research Description

Julie Dowling is currently working on two projects. The first is focused on what messages Mexican American parents give their children about racial identity and ideology. The second project is an exploration of how US-born Latina women navigate gender roles and the relationship beteen their beliefs about gender and their racial/cultural identities.  

Additional Campus Affiliations

Associate Professor, Gender and Women's Studies
Associate Professor, Sociology

Recent Publications

Dowling, J. A. (2014). Mexican Americans and the question of race. University of Texas Press. https://doi.org/10.7560/754010

Hempel, L. M., Dowling, J., Boardman, J. D., & Ellison, C. G. (2013). Racial Threat and White Opposition to Bilingual Education in Texas. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 35(1), 85-102. https://doi.org/10.1177/0739986312461626

Dowling, J. A., & Inda, J. X. (Eds.) (2013). Governing immigration through crime: A Reader. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Inda, J. X., & Dowling, J. (2013). Introduction: Governing Migrant Illegality. In J. A. Dowling, & J. X. Inda (Eds.), Governing Immigration Through Crime: A Reader (pp. 1-36). Stanford University Press.

Dowling, J., Ellison, C. G., & Leal, D. L. (2012). Who Doesn't Value English? Debunking Myths About Mexican Immigrants' Attitudes Toward the English Language. Social Science Quarterly, 93(2), 356-378. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-6237.2012.00850.x

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