Mark Pachucki

Assistant Professor

I am a sociologist who investigates phenomena at the intersection of social determinants of health, social network dynamics, and culture. While it is commonly accepted that culture and social context reciprocally shape our health, understanding the structure and meanings of relationships can give additional insight into individuals' health behaviors over the life course. My current research is focused in three general areas:

  1. Evaluating how adolescents’ social relationships and interactions shape their weight-related health behaviors. For example, how do a teen’s changing set of relationships with people in their lives affect the decisions they make about what they eat, or how they exercise?
  2. Using wearable sensor and other passive technologies to measure social relationships and their sequelae in ways that complement (and sometimes challenge) prior self-report or observational approaches to understanding social structure. In what ways does precise quantification of interactions provide new insights into social dynamics? In which cases does an individual’s own perceptions of their relationships provide useful information?
  3. Understanding how social ties to others at a given stage of one’s life can shape one’s future prospects. For instance, how does who you know when you were 5 years old affect your health at age 55?

These projects are each motivated by the same idea: that if we can better understand how individuals are connected during and across different stages of their life, we gain insight into changes in health behaviors and health status at the individual and population levels. I currently teach Soc 356 "Social Forces, Health, and the Lifecourse" (appropriate for mid/upper-level undergraduate students) and Soc 797NH "Social relationships, networks, and health" (graduate). 


(Post-doctoral fellowship, RWJF Health & Society Scholars, UC San Francisco & UC Berkeley, 2012)

(Ph.D., Sociology, Harvard University, 2010)

(M.A., Sociology, Harvard University, 2007)

(B.A., Sociology, Columbia University, 2003) 

Research areas

Social networks, social determinants of health, computational social science, culture

Selected publications

Raghavan, Sridharan, Mark C. Pachucki, Yuchiao Chang, Bianca Porneala, Caroline S. Fox, Josée Dupuis, James Meigs. 2016. “Incident type 2 diabetes risk is influenced by obesity and diabetes in social contacts: a social network analysis in the Framingham Offspring Study.” Journal of General Internal Medicine, in press. 

Abbott, Katherine, Mark C. Pachucki. 2016. “Associations over time between Social Network Attributes, Cognitive Function, and Quality of Life among Residents in a Dementia Special Care Unit: A Pilot Study.” Dementia: The international journal of social research and practice, in press.

Pachucki, Mark C., Emily Ozer, Alain Barrat, Ciro Cattuto. 2015. “Mental health & socialization in early adolescence: A dynamic study of social interaction behaviors.” Social Science & Medicine, Vol. 125: 40-50.

Pachucki, Mark C. 2014. “Food choices and peer relationships: Examining ‘a taste for necessity’ in a network context / Alimentation et réseau social : Une étude sur « le goût par nécessité » en contexte social.” Sociologie et Sociétés, Vol. 45(2): 229-252.

Pachucki, Mark C. 2012. “Classifying quality: Cognition, interaction, and status appraisal of art museums.” Poetics, Vol. 40(1): 67-90.

Pachucki, Mark A., Paul F. Jacques, Nicholas A. Christakis. 2011. “Social network concordance in food choice among spouses, friends, and siblings.” American Journal of Public Health. Vol. 101(11): 2170-2177.

Pachucki, Mark A., Ronald Breiger. 2010. “Cultural Holes: Beyond Relationality in Social Networks and Culture.” Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 36: 205-224.

Pachucki, Mark A., Sabrina Pendergrass, Michèle Lamont. 2007. “Boundary processes: Recent theoretical developments and new contributions.” Poetics, Vol. 35: 331-351.