Matthew Desmond is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Social Studies. After receiving his Ph.D. in 2010 from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, he joined the Harvard Society of Fellows as a Junior Fellow. His primary teaching and research interests include urban sociology, poverty, race and ethnicity, organizations and work, social theory, and ethnography.
Desmond is the author of three books: On the Fireline: Living and Dying with Wildland Firefighters (2007), Racial Domination, Racial Progress: The Sociology of Race in America (with Mustafa Emirbayer, 2009), and The Racial Order (with Mustafa Emirbayer, forthcoming). He has written essays on educational inequality, dangerous work, political ideology, race and social theory, and the inner-city housing market. Most recently, he has published on eviction and the low-income rental market, network-based survival strategies among the urban poor, and the consequences of new crime control policies on inner-city women in the American Journal of Sociology and American Sociological Review.
He is the principal investigator of the Milwaukee Area Renters Study, an original survey of tenants in Milwaukee’s low-income private housing sector. He is currently writing a book on the causes, dynamics, and consequences of eviction.
Recent Media Coverage
- Evictions: A Hidden Scourge for Black Women, Washington Post
- Victims' Dilemma: 911 Call Can Bring Eviction, New York Times
- Domestic Violence Victims in Milwaukee Faced Eviction for Calling Police, Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel
- American Affordable Housing Crisis, ABC News
- Exploiting the Urban Poor, Books and Ideas
- Is Poverty a Kind of Robbery? New York Times
- A Sight All Too Familiar in Poor Neighborhoods, New York Times
'On the Fireline' Author Recalls Life as a Wildland Firefighter, Christian Science Monitor
- Tipping the Scales in Eviction Court, New York Times
Fighting Wildfires, Processing Death, New York Times
Photos by Michael Kienitz