Matthew Clair

Matthew Clair is Assistant Professor of Sociology and (by courtesy) Law at Stanford University. His scholarship broadly examines how cultural meanings and interactions reflect, reproduce, and challenge various dimensions of social inequality, state violence, and injustice. His research to date has focused on inequality and violence in the criminal legal system and the legal profession. He is the author of the award-winning book Privilege and Punishment: How Race and Class Matter in Criminal Court (Princeton University Press). Interviews about his book, sociology, and teaching and engaging with students can be found at Public Books, the New Books Network, and Give Theory a Chance.

Matthew's research has been published or is forthcoming in several academic and popular outlets, including Criminology, Social Forces, California Law Review, The Nation, Boston Review, and Public Books. His work has received awards from the American Sociological Association, the American Society of Criminology, the Law & Society Association, and the Society for the Study of Social Problems and has been supported by several grants and fellowships, including the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. He is currently at work on two research projects: a longitudinal interview study of prospective law school students; and a comparative ethnographic study of courthouses in the Bay Area called The Court Listening Project. Beyond his scholarship, he writes creatively, makes visual art, and enjoys skiing and tennis. He received his A.B., A.M., and Ph.D. from Harvard University.