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Robert Faris


  • Ph.D., Sociology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2007
  • M.A., Sociology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2000
  • B.A., Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington, 1995


For the past decade, I have been using social network analysis to figure out why teens bully each other, drink and do drugs, and engage in dating violence. In a somewhat surreal turn of events, two of these projects led to Emmy-winning collaborations with Anderson Cooper 360, with one focusing on bullying (with Diane Felmlee in 2011), and the other on social media (#Being13, with Marion Underwood in 2015). I am continuing to work on these topics while developing a new line of research investigating the dynamics of social networks through time and their implications for the life course.

Selected Publications

Faris, Robert, Diane Felmlee, and Cassie McMillan. Forthcoming. "With Friends Like These: Aggression from Amity and Equivalence." American Journal of Sociology. 

Faris, Robert and Diane Felmlee. 2018. “Best Friends For Now: Egonetwork Stability and Adolescents’ Life Course Goals.” Frontiers in Sociology and Social Research, Volume 2:  Social Networks and the Life Course, Duane Alwin, Derek Kreager, and Diane Felmlee, eds.

Felmlee, Diane and Robert Faris. 2016. “Toxic Ties:  Networks of Friendship, Dating, and Cyber Victimization.” Social Psychology Quarterly, 79:3:243-262.

Smith, Jeffrey and Robert Faris. 2015. “Movement without Mobility: Adolescent Status Hierarchies and the Contextual Limits of Cumulative Advantage.” Social Networks, 40:139-153

Faris, Robert and Diane Felmlee. 2014. “Casualties of Social Combat: School Networks of Peer Victimization and their Consequences.” American Sociological Review, 79:2:228-257.

Faris, Robert and Susan Ennett. 2012. “Adolescent Aggression: The Role of Peer Group Status Motives, Peer Aggression, and Group Characteristics.”  Social Networks, 34:4:371-378.

Faris, Robert. 2012. “Aggression, Exclusivity, and Status Attainment in Interpersonal Networks.” Social Forces, 90:4:1207-1235.

Faris, Robert and Diane Felmlee. 2011. “Status Struggles:  Network Centrality and Gender Segregation in Same- and Cross-Gender Aggression.” American Sociological Review, 76:1:48-73  *Winner of the ASA’s Crime Law and Deviance Section’s James F. Short Award for Best Paper. 


Sociology 2: “Self and Society: Introduction to Social Psychology.” 150 students

Sociology 120: “Deviation and Society.” 80 students.

Sociology 195: “Total Institutions.” 15 students

Sociology 295: "Social Network Analysis." Graduate seminar. 


NSF:  "BIGDATA: F: Critical Visualization Technologies for Analyzing and Understanding Big Network Data" (Award # 1741536): $558,000

NIH: Peer Mechanisms isgn the Internalizing Pathway to Substance Abuse (1R01DA037215), 9/15/2014 – 9/31/2017 Co-PI (PI: Andrea Hussong) Amount Awarded: $689,930

UC Davis: Center of Excellence for Visualization, 7/1/2012 – 7/1/2015 Co-PI (PI: Kwan-Liu Ma) Amount Awarded: $550,000

UC Davis Chancellor’s Fellow, 2015 ($25,000)