Matthew Desmond

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Matthew Desmond
Matthew Desmond at 2017 National Book Festival.jpg
Born 1979 or 1980 (age 38–39)[1]
Alma mater University of Wisconsin-Madison (Ph.D.)
Awards Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction (2017)
Scientific career
Fields Sociology
Institutions Princeton University
Academic advisors Mustafa Emirbayer[2]

Matthew Desmond is an American sociologist who is a professor in the department of sociology at Princeton University.[3][4]


Desmond studied as an undergraduate at Arizona State University, serving at the same time as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity in Tempe.[5] He graduated with B.S. degree, summa cum laude in communications and justice studies. He received a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.[1][6] He was formerly the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University.[7][8][9]


Desmond was awarded a Harvey Fellowship in 2006 and a MacArthur Fellowship in 2015.[1][10] He won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction, the 2017 PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award, and the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award for his work about poverty, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.[11][12] His 2017 Pulitzer Prize citation read, "For a deeply researched exposé that showed how mass evictions after the 2008 economic crash were less a consequence than a cause of poverty."[13]


  • Desmond, Matthew (2008). On the Fireline: Living and Dying with Wildland Firefighters. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-14407-8.
  • Emirbayer, Mustafa and Matthew Desmond (2009). Racial Domination, Racial Progress: The Sociology of Race in America. New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 9780072970517
  • Emirbayer, Mustafa; Desmond, Matthew (2015). The Racial Order. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-25366-4.
  • Desmond, Matthew (2016). Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. New York: Crown/Archetype, 2016. ISBN 9780553447446
  • Desmond, Matthew (2018). Why Work Doesn’t Work Anymore. New York Times Magazine, Page 36, September 16, 2018.


  1. ^ a b c Bill Glauber. "'Genius grant' winner Matthew Desmond made in Madison, Milwaukee". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, September. 30, 2015.
  2. ^ Desmond, Matthew (2010). Eviction and the reproduction of urban poverty (PhD). University of Wisconsin-Madison. OCLC 732383033.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Jennifer Schuessler. "A Harvard Sociologist on Watching Families Lose Their Homes", The New York Times, February 19, 2016.
  6. ^ "Alumnus Desmond wins Pulitzer Prize for 'Evicted'". Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  7. ^ "Matthew Desmond". MacArthur Foundation. 28 September 2015. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  8. ^ "Matthew Desmond | Department of Sociology". Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  9. ^ "Strong Pulitzer showing for Harvard". Harvard Gazette. 10 April 2017. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  10. ^ "Mustard Seed Foundation » List of Fellows". 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  11. ^ "Video: 2017 Pulitzer Prize Announcement". Retrieved 2017-04-11.
  12. ^ Calvin Reid (March 17, 2017). "Louise Erdrich, Matthew Desmond Win 2016 NBCC Awards". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  13. ^ The Pulitzer Prizes. "Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond (Crown)".