Matthew Clair is a Ph.D. candidate in the Harvard Department of Sociology. He is broadly interested in culture, race/ethnicity, and the law. Matt's research has been published in Criminology, Law & Social Inquiry, Social Science & Medicine, and Socioeconomic Review and has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the American Society of Criminology, the Center for American Political Studies, and the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management. He has received awards from the Law & Society Association and the Society for the Study of Social Problems.
Matt's current research centers on the causes and consequences of racial and socioeconomic disparities in the criminal justice system. From 2013-2015, he co-led a research project on court official decision-making in a Northeastern state court system. This project has resulted in policy reports on reducing racial disparities as well as an article on judges' understandings of racial disparities. The latter won the Law & Society Association's 2017 John Hope Franklin Prize for best article on race, racism, and the law. His dissertation, which draws on in-depth interviews with criminal defendants and ethnographic observations collected in Boston-area courthouses from 2015-2017, complements this prior research by considering the meanings defendants attach to criminal justice processing.
Matt holds an A.B. in Government from Harvard College and an A.M. in Sociology from Harvard University.