Mark D. Whitaker

Assistant Professor
Department of Technology and Society
SUNY Korea


Personal Web sites:



Blogs: (related to one of my books) &

   (my own theorizations about 128 commodity/technology categories required for sustainability; working examples and inspirations)


Ph.D. Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Research Interests:

Information Society; Science and Technology Studies; Comparative Historical Methods, World Regional Cultural Variations, Environmental Sociology, Environmental Policy Evaluation, Consumption as Strategically Implemented, Network Analysis; Sociology of Religion, Science and Technology; Comparative Conditions of Successful/Failed Sustainability Programs and Successful/Failing Democracies; Comparative Development; technical, material, and political contributions to sustainability or degradation


Prior to joining SUNY Korea, he was the first Westerner to be a Visiting Assistant Professor at Ewha Womans University’s Sociology Department, and subsequently served as the same for Kookmin University.

His publications include Toward a Bioregional State (2005) and Ecological Revolution (2009). The latter is a comparative historical examination of common patterns of political, cultural, and material/environmental change in China, Japan, and Europe. (Excerpts are at the ‘linkedin’ site, above.) He received a grant award from the American Sociological Association in association with the U.S. National Science Foundation on the strength of this research. He has presented some of his work at the International Conference on Civilization and Peace hosted by the Academy of Korean Studies, the Korean Sociological Association, and at several International Sociological Association conferences.

Current research:

First, he continues detailed comparative historical research and publishing. Second, he is working on a theoretical and methodological summary of what he has learned so far in studying comparative environmental degradation. Third, he is preparing a useful anthology about the origins of our twelve very different modern theoretical constructs that people use to think and to talk about environmental degradation. The twelve constructs compete with each other politically and culturally in attempting to justify their own versions of environmental policy interventions, as policy suggestions can be based on completely different analysis of the same problem. Hopefully, a less reductionist analysis of environmental problems can be established from such analysis.


In the past, he has taught over 16 different courses. Joining SUNY Korea in Fall 2015, he is involved in curriculum development. He has taught so far:

EST 194: Patterns of Problem Solving
EST 200: Cultural Technologies and Society
EST 372: Mobile Revolution in Development
EST 391: Technology Assessment
CSE 595/EMP 572: Special Topics in Convergence Research (Sustainable Energy - Policies and Technologies; Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence)
EST 516: Science in Society
EST 519: Graduate Independent Study, Special Topics (Artificial Intelligence; Microgrids; Blockchain)
EST 559: Mobile Technologies in Disaster Risk Reduction

Professor/Student Research Groups:

Contact the professor for ongoing public events related to the topics, if you have an interest in learning about:

- standardization of technologies;
- mobile/smartphone based grassroots development; decentralized technology;
- sustainability; material, technological, environmental & social impact assessment; disasters;
- comparative historical analysis about development worldwide;
- "smart cities"
- new/future material and technological trends; futures studies

Book an appointment to discuss or to join these research groups, or anything else: