Douglas F. Challenger, Professor of Sociology

Ph.D. Sociology, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University 1992
Douglas Challenger, Ph.D.M.A. Sociology, Syracuse University 1986
B.A. Human Relations, High Point University, 1978 

Douglas Challenger is a sociologist and documentary filmmaker. 

As a sociologist, I have spent a good deal of my professional career engaged in examining democracy, public life and other social institutions.  I joined the full-time faculty at Franklin Pierce University upon completing my Ph.D. in sociology at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in 1992.

In recent years, I have integrated my experience in social analysis and my ethnographic training as a qualitative sociologist with my interests as an artist and musician, by turning my professional attention to the field of documentary studies, particularly the craft of making documentary films and videos.  I regularly attend professional workshops at such places as Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies and the Maine Media Workshops, and I have a Certificate in Video Production from New York University.

I have produced and directed several videos for our university website that document student academic growth and personal transformation through programs at Franklin Pierce University such as the Diversity & Community Project and the Pierce Walk in Europe.  I am currently working on several independent documentary film projects that focus on social justice and other aspects of the human predicament.

I was a Fulbright Research and Teaching Scholar in Slovenia in 1996-1997.  I founded and directed the New England Center for Civic Life at Franklin Pierce from 1998-2003 and established ties between Franklin Pierce and the Kettering Foundation, where I was an associate for a number of years and served on the board of directors for the National Issues Forums Institute.  I have been a leader of university projects that have been funded by grants from the Kettering Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, the New Hampshire Department of Education, and the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Sciences.

In 1994, I published an acclaimed book entitled Durkheim Through the Lens of Aristotle on the connections between modern social theory and classical Greek philosophy.  I have also written several articles and book chapters on deliberative democracy and the civic education of college students, an essay entitled God and the Commons that has been used on college campuses and in a state-wide public forums on the place of religion in American public life, and short articles for the Radius, Franklin Pierce’s alumni magazine, on my long-distance walks as a leader of the Pierce Walk in Europe program and as a scholar of contemporary forms of pilgrimage.

Teaching Interests
Social Theory, Introduction to Sociology, Religion and Society,
Community Organization, Qualitative Research Methods and Documentary Studies

Research Interests
Social and Political Theory, Religion, Democratic Citizenship, Civic Education and Documentary Studies

Professional Memberships

University Film and Video Association
American Sociological Association 

Contact Information
Douglas F. Challenger, Ph.D.
Office Location: Petrocelli 333
Phone: 603.899.4263
E-mail: challedf@franklinpierce.edu