Keith Hampton Ph.D.

Keith Hampton


  • Media & Information
(517) 432-6747


Keith Hampton, Ph.D., enjoys sharing and exploring new research across disciplines, and introducing students to the study of social network analysis. He is a focused teacher whose research-rich style brings concepts to life through the study of media and information theory and methods. Hampton studies community and the relationship between digital technologies, social networks, democratic engagement and the urban environment. 

A dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada, Hampton received his doctorate and Master of Arts in sociology from the University of Toronto, and his Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in sociology from the University of Calgary. Before joining the faculty at MSU, he was the Endowed Professor in Communication and Public Policy and Co-Chair of the Social Media & Society Cluster in the Department of Communication in the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers. Other previous posts include assistant professor at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania; as well as Assistant Professor of Technology, Urban and Community Sociology, and Endowed Class of ’43 Chair in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

When he’s not teaching or researching, Hampton spends time working on his small local farm and doing science projects with his two boys-including a project that involved launching a high altitude balloon into the stratosphere. He also shares his Okemos home with his wife, Brenda, pet tortoise named Happy, and various chickens and ducks.


Hampton teaches students about theory and methods within the field of media and information, and contributes to a transdisciplinary department that explores the role of emerging digital media.

Research and Teaching

Hampton is acutely interested in the relationship between new information and communication technologies, social networks, democratic engagement and the urban environment.

Recent Publications:

Hampton, Keith (2017). Studying the Digital: Directions and Challenges for Digital Methods. Annual Review of Sociology 43, 167-188.

Weixu, Lu & Keith Hampton (2017). Beyond the Power of Networks: Differentiating Network Structure from Social Media Affordances for Perceived Social Support. New Media & Society 19(6), 861-879. 

Hampton, Keith, Inyoung Shin, and Weixu Lu. (2017). Social Media and Political Discussion: When Online Presence Silences Offline Conversation. Information, Communication & Society 20(7), 1090-1107.

Hampton, Keith (2016). Why is Helping Behavior Declining in the United States but not in Canada: Ethnic Diversity, New Technologies and other Explanations. City and Community 15(4), 380-399.

Hampton, Keith, Weixu Lu and Inyoung Shin. (2016). Digital Media and Stress: Cost of Caring 2.0. Information, Communication & Society 19(9), 1267-1286.

Hampton, Keith. (2016). Persistent and Pervasive Community: New Communication Technologies and the Future of Community. American Behavioral Scientist 60(1), 101-124.

Hampton, Keith, Lauren Sessions Goulet, & Garrett Albanesius. (2015). Change in the Social Life of Urban Public Spaces: The Rise of Mobile Phones and Women, and the Decline of Aloneness Over Thirty Years. Urban Studies 52(8), 1489-1504.

Recent Public Talks:

"Connected, Committed and Social? The Consequences of Computing for Relationships." Keynote address. SIGCSE 2015. ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education. Kansas City, Mo.

"Is the Grass any Greener? Pervasive Awareness, Social Media and Well-Being." Keynote address. 2014 Microsoft Faculty Summit. Redmond, Wash.

"The Social Pressures of Social Media." Keynote address. 2014, 8th International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (ICWSM). Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.

"The Promise, Practice & Pitfalls of Social Media." Keynote address. 2014 Social Media & Society International Conference, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada.

Recent Awards:

Elected Member of the Sociological Research Association (2017)

Top Paper Award, American Sociological Association, Section on Communication and Information Technologies (2015)

Outstanding Article Award, International Communication Association (2012)

Top Paper Award, American Sociological Association, Section on Communication and Information Technologies (2011)

Walter Benjamin Award for Outstanding Article in the Field of Media Ecology, Media Ecology Association (2011)

Current Creative/Research Work:

Hampton’s recent research has looked at the outcomes of persistent contact and pervasive awareness through social media, including stress, social isolation, exposure to diverse points of view, and willingness to voice opinions. Copies of his papers can be found here.

Contact Information

404 Wilson Rd.
Communication Arts and Sciences Building
Michigan State University