Matthew Desmond


Matthew Desmond is the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences.  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 Milwaukees low-income private housing sector.  He is currently writing a book on the causes, dynamics, and consequences of eviction.  

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Photos by Michael Kienitz