B. Soc. Sc., University College, Dublin, 1980
M. Soc. Sc., ibid., 1983
Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley, 1989
SOC 611: Sociological Theory
SOC 697: Special Topics/ Sociology of Culture
SOC 797/897: Sociology of Religion
SOC 904: Sociological Methods IV
SOC 911: Sociological Theory I
SOC 912: Sociological Theory II
Fields of Research
Religion, culture, sociological theory, aging/life course, Irish society
Michele Dillon is professor and chair of sociology at the University of New Hampshire. She received her Bachelor's degree in social science and her Master's degree in sociology from University College Dublin, and her Ph.D. in sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. She specializes in religion and culture, with particular interests in autonomy and authority in the Catholic Church; religion, spirituality and cultural change; community engagement; life-course contexts and transitions; purposeful aging; and the moral politics surrounding abortion and same-sex relationships. Dillon also conducts evaluation and policy research with an emphasis on community leadership and rural economic development. An extensive user of both qualitative and quantitative methods, her research has been funded by the Templeton Foundation, the Louisville Institute, the Fetzer Institute, the Kellogg Foundation, and the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, among other entities.
Dillon's scholarly publications include American Catholics in Transition (co-authors W. D'Antonio & M. Gautier; Rowman & Littlefield, 2013), In the Course of a Lifetime: Tracing Religious Belief, Practice and Change (co-author Paul Wink; University of California Press, 2007), Catholic Identity: Balancing Reason, Faith, and Power (Cambridge University Press, 1999), Debating Divorce: Moral Conflict in Ireland (University Press of Kentucky, 1993), Handbook of the Sociology of Religion (editor, Cambridge University Press, 2003), Introduction to Sociological Theory (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), and over 50 book chapters, essays, and research articles in journals such as Sociological Theory, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Sociology of Religion, Public Opinion Quarterly, Journal of Adult Development, Psychology and Aging, and Research on Aging. In the Course of a Lifetime was selected by Choice as an outstanding academic book of 2007. Dillon is also a regular book reviewer and conference presenter, frequently interviewed and quoted by the mass media, and a frequent contributor to invited scholarly blogs (e.g., SSRC's The Immanent Frame).
Dillon has served as president of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, president of the Association for the Sociology of Religion, and as chair of the American Sociological Association section on the sociology of religion. She was honored in 2011 to be the 11th Annual Anne Drummey O'Callaghan Lecturer on Women in the Church, at Fairfield University; and in 2011-12 to be the JE and Lillian Byrne Tipton Distinguished Visiting Professor in Catholic Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara.