Keith N. Hampton (born 1973) is professor of media and information at Michigan State University. His research interests focus on the relationship between information and communication technology, such as the Internet, social networks, and community democratic engagement, social isolation, and participation in the urban environment.
Hampton received his PhD from the Department of Sociology, University of Toronto, and has been a faculty member at MIT, the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and Rutgers University.
Recent research explores such subjects as social interaction in public spaces, the role of technology in social isolation, and the role of the Internet in neighborhood interactions and relationships.
Hampton received his B.A. (Bachelor’s) in sociology, with honours, from the University of Calgary. He completed his graduate work at the University of Toronto, where he trained with Barry Wellman. He received an M.A. in sociology in 1998, and a Ph.D in Sociology in 2001. His dissertation, “Living the wired life in the wired suburb: Netville, glocalization and civil society”, was an ethnography of a neighborhood in the suburbs of Toronto that had been equipped with high-speed Internet access.
After receiving his doctorate, Hampton joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty as the first professor of “technology and the city” in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. He taught at MIT from 2001 through 2005. He was a fellow at the Saguaro Seminar and the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (2003/04). He left MIT in 2005 to join the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania faculty as an assistant professor of communication. In 2012 he left the University of Pennsylvania to join Rutgers University, where he was an associate professor in the School of Communication and Information and a member of the graduate faculty in the Department of Sociology. In 2015 Hampton was named the endowed professor in communication and public policy and in 2016 was promoted to full professor. In August 2016, he joined Michigan State University as professor of media and information.
Through a broad range of empirical approaches, including observations of public spaces, and large-scale national surveys, Hampton has continued to explore the social consequences of new technologies. He created the website "i-Neighbors.org", which helped users to form virtual communities that correspond to physical neighborhoods. The site informed research on how Internet use affords local interactions, facilitates community involvement, and contributes to social capital. He is credited with popularizing the term glocalization as it pertains to understanding how new media encourage both global and local interactions. His work is regular featured in the media. A 2014 feature on his work in The New York Times Magazine described Hampton as “Tall and broad with a warm charm, unguarded in that Canadian way, Hampton has become a star in a subfield that lacks a proper name.”
Hampton played a leading role in transforming the focus of the American Sociological Association’s section on "Microcomputing" to its current formation as the section on Communication and Information Technologies (CITASA). He served as chair of the American Sociological Association’s section on Communication and Information Technologies from 2007–2009, and past-chair from 2009-2010.
Honors and awards
Hampton has received numerous awards for his research. His dissertation received the top dissertation award from both the International Communication Association’s Communication and Technology division, and the Media Ecology Association. In 2007 Hampton received an award for Public Sociology from CITASA for his work on i-Neighbors.org. In 2011 he received the Walter Benjamin Award from the Media Ecology Association for his paper “Internet Use and the Concentration of Disadvantage: Glocalization and the Urban Underclass”. In 2011 he was given an award from CITASA for the top paper published in the prior two years for “The Social Life of Wireless Urban Spaces”. In 2012 he received the Outstanding Article Award from the International Communication Association for the top article published during the previous two years for “Core Networks, Social Isolation, and New Media: Internet and Mobile Phone Use, Network Size, and Diversity”.
- Hampton, Keith, Lauren Sessions Goulet, & Garrett Albanesius (2014). 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.
- Hampton, Keith, Lauren Sessions, & Eun Ja Her (2011). Core Networks, Social Isolation, and New Media: Internet and Mobile Phone Use, Network Size, and Diversity. Information, Communication & Society 14(1), 130-155.
- Hampton, Keith, Lauren Sessions Goulet, Lee Rainie, and Kristen Purcell (2011). Social Networking Sites and Our Lives: How People’s Trust, Personal Relationships, and Civic and Political Involvement are Connected to Their Use of Social Networking Sites and Other Technologies. Pew Research Center. Washington, DC.
- Hampton, Keith, Oren Livio, and Lauren Sessions Goulet (2010). The Social Life of Wireless Urban Spaces: Internet Use, Social Networks, and the Public Realm. Journal of Communication 4(60), 701-722.
- Hampton, Keith (2010). Internet Use and the Concentration of Disadvantage: Glocalization and the Urban Underclass. American Behavioral Scientist 53(8), 1111-1132.
- Hampton, Keith, Lauren Sessions, Eun Ja Her, and Lee Rainie (2009). Social Isolation and New Technology: How the Internet and Mobile Phones Impact Americans’ Social Networks. Pew Internet & American Life Project. Washington, DC.
- Hampton, Keith (2007). Neighborhoods in the Network Society: The e-Neighbors Study. Information, Communication & Society. 10(5). 714-748.
- Hampton, Keith & Barry Wellman (2003). Neighboring in Netville: How the Internet Supports Community and Social Capital in a Wired Suburb. City and Community 2(4), 277-311.
- "Paul Messaris, Ph.D.". upenn.edu.
- Keith N. Hampton and Neeti Gupta, "Community and social interaction in the wireless city: wi-fi use in public and semi-public spaces." New Media & Society 10, 6 (Dec., 2008):831-850
- "Social Isolation and New Technology". Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech. 4 November 2009.
- Keith Hampton and Barry Wellman, "Neighboring in Netville: How the Internet Supports Community and Social Capital in a Wired Suburb." City and Community2, 4 (Dec., 2003):277-311
- "Hampton - CV". mysocialnetwork.net.
- "Communication and Information Technologies". sagepub.com.
- Results of 2007 ASA Section Elections
- Communication and Information Technologies Section of the American Sociological Association Past Award Recipients
- "Past MEA Award Recipients". media-ecology.org.
- "ICA Newsletter, June-July 2012". icahdq.org.
- "Keith Hampton". pewinternet.org. 15 January 2015.