Peter J. Burke
Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Office: 2146 Watkins Hall
He has published over 75 articles and chapters, which have appeared in top sociology and psychology journals. He has also authored or coauthored four books, including most recently Identity Theory (coauthored with Jan Stets, Oxford University Press, 2009) and Contemporary Social Psychological Theories (Stanford University Press, 2006). He has served as Chair of the Theory Section of the American Sociological Association (2008-2009), Chair of the Social Psychology Section of the American Sociological Association (2000-2001). In addition, he has served on the councils of the Mathematical Sociology section of the ASA, the Social Psychology Section of the ASA, and the Theory Section of the ASA. He served as editor for Social Psychology Quarterly (1983-1988). He is a member of American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Sociological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, the Pacific Sociological Association, the Society for Experimental Social Psychology, and the Sociological Research Association.
He is one of the originators of Identity Theory, and his research draws on Complexity Theory, Artificial Intelligence, and Computer Simulation to understand (1) how individuals, acting as agents with particular identities, come together in interaction to create larger aggregates, groups, organizations and societies, and (2) how these social structures constrain and limit the kinds of actions that individuals can take. His current research program includes a project with Jan Stets that brings together data from seven different experimental conditions to explore the emotional reactions to whether or not, and the extent to which, one’s moral identity is verified by others. Other work includes a project to better understand ethnic identity, and another on the sources and forms of self-esteem (with Jan Stets).
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