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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Sociology & Criminology


Faculty & Staff

Paul Colomy

Paul Colomy

Paul Colomy

Professor Emeritus
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areas of expertise/research interests

Sociological theory; social and institutional change; social control; juvenile justice; the self; society and nature

professional biography

Paul Colomy taught several courses at DU, including Sociological Classics; Self and Society; Kids and Courts; Understanding Social Life; American Youth Violence; and Society, Nature and Animals.

He was a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University from 1982-1983, and taught at the University of Akron before coming to the University of Denver in 1987. 

Colomy served as Chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminology at DU from 2000-2006. He was granted Emeritus status upon retirement in June 2019.


PhD   Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles
MA    Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles
BA     Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara

selected publications

The Dynamics of Social Systems, Editor, Sage International.

Differentiation Theory and Social Change, Co-editor (with Jeffrey Alexander), Columbia University Press.

"A Bridge Over Troubled Water: Reengaging Dropouts at an Alternative Christian High School" (co-authored with Robert Granfield). Sociological Focus 43(4):287-310.

"Losing Samson: Nature, Crime, and Boundaries" (co-authored with Robert Granfield). The Sociological Quarterly 51(3):355-383.

"Neofunctionalism and Neoinstitutionalism: Human Agency and Interest in Institutional Change." Sociological Forum 13:265-300.

"Projects and Institution Building: Judge Ben B. Lindsey and the Juvenile Court" (with Martin Kretzmann). Social Problems 42:191-215.

"Making Youth Violence Visible: The News Media and the Summer of Violence" (with Laura Ross Greiner). Denver University Law Review 77:661-688.