Peter Kollock

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Peter Kollock
2005 - Peter Kollock - Internet Trust and Cooperation Conference.jpg
Peter Kollock
Born (1959-11-01)November 1, 1959
Zaragoza, Spain
Died January 10, 2009(2009-01-10) (aged 49)
Calabasas, California
Occupation Professor
Nationality Basque
Genre Sociology
Subject Collective action, Virtual communities

Peter Enrique Kollock (November 1, 1959 – January 10, 2009) was an American sociologist and an associate professor and vice chair in the department of sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles.


Kollock was born on November 1, 1959 in Zaragoza, Spain but came to the United States when he was a year old. He grew up in Seattle, Washington and attended Blanchet High School. Later, he received his B.A. in 1982, M.A in 1984, and Ph.D. in 1990 from the department of sociology at the University of Washington. He joined the department of sociology at UCLA in 1989 and stayed there throughout his entire career.[1]


His research interests lay in "determining the basis of trust and cooperation in collective action." [1] One aspect of this research explored collaboration and online participation in virtual communities, arguing that cooperation is sustained by credit and relatively loose accounting systems.[2] He was a practicing Buddhist and taught the popular fiat lux seminar, “Zen and the Art of Mindfulness.”[1][3][4] Following a retreat at the Deer Park Monastery, Kollock proposed a new undergraduate course, "The Sociology of Mindfulness," which became very popular.[5] He was also a motorcycle enthusiast.[6]

Kollock died on 10 January 2009 in a motorcycle accident on highway 101 near Calabasas, California.[3][7] According to Buddhist Monk Phap De, "Peter was a very skillful and careful motorcycle rider. He had just said good-bye to his wife, Ellen, and, apparently, was on his way from Calabasas to UCLA. According to the police, Peter, was hit by a powerful cross wind, causing him to hit the curb. His body was catapulted into a tree, killing him instantly."[6][8] The Peter Kollock Memorial Ride was held on 14 January 2009, a 65-mile/two-hour route that ended at the UCLA campus in time for the memorial service.[6] The department of sociology at UCLA now offers the Peter Kollock Memorial Teaching Award.[5][9]



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