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Douglas Heckathorn

PhD 1974, University of Kansas

Areas of Interest: Formal Theory, Economic Sociology, AIDS Prevention Research, Collective Action, Social Psychology, Quantitative Methods

(607) 255-4368
Personal Site

344 Uris Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-7601


Professor Douglas Heckathorn is currently working on several interrelated projects.

The first analyzes collective action and norm emergence using formal theories to specify the reciprocal relationship between choice and structure.

A recent extension of that project analyzes aggregate social exchange across macrosocial categories, including race and ethnicity, gender, age, and economic status, to analyze quantitatively both social structure and the power differentials encoded in those structures.

A related area of research focuses on norm creation, including development and implementation of interventions to create and strengthen HIV-prevention norms in high-risk groups.

An additional line of research focuses on developing means for studying the structure of very large social networks using a new network-based sampling method, respondent-driven sampling (RDS). This method provides means both for drawing probability samples of hard-to-reach and hidden populations, and for studying their network structure. It has been applied in studies of a variety of populations, including injection drug users and jazz musicians.

Finally, he edits the journal, Rationality and Society.

Recent Courses

SOC 2460
SOC 5020

Drugs and Society
Basic Problem in Sociology II (Contemporary Theory)