Robert Heiner


Professor of Sociology

BA, University of Virginia; MS, Florida State University; PhD, University of Virginia

Contact Information

Memorial Hall room 102
MSC # 39

About Professor Heiner

Since I was a kid I was interested in crime and this interest eventuated in a Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Virginia, where I studied under the renowned criminologist Gresham Sykes. After receiving my doctorate, I taught for three years for the University of Maryland on U.S. military bases overseas in South Korea, Japan and Germany. Today, my academic interests are not so much in crime, per se, but in how societies react to crime and deviance. I am also interested in issues dealing with inequality and in corporate influence in governmental affairs. Both my teaching and research bear a strong cross-cultural emphasis. Included in my teaching philosophy is the hope that our students here at Plymouth State (and everywhere) will learn about the plight of those less fortunate than themselves and will want to make the world a better place. Most people don’t realize how much social change has been brought about in the world over the last half a century by college students.

Published works include:

  • Deviance Across Cultures (an anthology), Oxford University Press, 2014.
  • Social Problems: An Introduction to Critical Constructionism, 4th edition, Oxford University Press, 2012.
  • “Cross-cultural and historical method,” The Routledge Handbook of Deviant Behavior, Clifton Bryant, ed., Routledge, 2011.
  • Conflicting Interests: Readings in Social Problems and Inequality, Oxford
    University Press, 2010.

Courses Taught

  • Foundations of Sociology
  • Social problems
  • Criminology
  • Sociology of Deviance
  • Drugs and Society
  • Illness, Wellness and Healing