Dr. Mark Cooney, Professor of Sociology, has been at the University of Georgia since 1991. He received a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Virginia in 1991. In addition, Dr. Cooney holds a Doctor of Juridical Science degree from Harvard Law School, received in 1988. His departmental speciality area is crime, law, and deviance.
Dr. Cooney is interested in moral conflict, particularly violence. His publications have addressed a variety of topics within that broad domain, including the role of third parties in violent conflict, causes and conditions of family honor killing, the gravitational attraction of terrorism, and the effect of community ties on homicide. In other work he has analyzed the social foundations of legal evidence, online hostility directed against individuals on death row, and everyday antagonism toward immigrants in Ireland. His papers have appeared in American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, British Journal of Sociology, Criminology, Law and Society Review and other outlets. His 2009 book Is Killing Wrong? A Study in Pure Sociology analyzes responses to homicide across and within human societies.
Most of Dr. Cooney’s work employs a theoretical system known as Blackian theory or pure sociology. Pure sociology is a new style of thought that explains human behavior without reference to what people think, feel, or want. Unconventional though it may be, pure sociology is extremely powerful, generating theories that are markedly general yet highly specific.