Medical Sociology, Race & Ethnicity, Cultural Sociology


My research and teaching interests include medical sociology, race and ethnicity, cultural sociology, and public sociology. 

As a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholar at Harvard University, I examined the racial and spatial heterogeneity of suicide rates in the American West, with a particular emphasis on Las Vegas, the city with the highest metropolitan suicide rate in the U.S.

In addition to my work on suicide, I've researched multiple aspects of white identity, particularly the stigmatyping of poor rural whites. I'm also a long-time participant observer of the Burning Man Festival, an arts festival in northern Nevada.

My work has been profiled in The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Business Week, and The Wall Street Journal, among dozens of other national and international publications, and I have been interviewed on numerous radio shows, including NPR's All Things Considered and Freakonomics Radio.

My published books and edited anthologies include Not Quite White: White Trash and the Boundaries of Whiteness (Duke); White Trash: Race and Class in America (Routledge); Bad Subjects: Political Education for Everyday Life (NYU Press); and The Making and Unmaking of Whiteness (Duke).

In Fall 2012, I was a nonfiction fellow at The MacDowell Colony. In recent years I have served as an elected member of the Chair's Council of the Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities of the American Sociological Association and a nominee for chair-elect of the Section on Cultural Sociology. I was also a co-chair of the ASA's Task Force on Social Media where I chaired the subcommittee on Promoting Research through Social Media. At Temple, I served for many years as president of the Rho Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious undergraduate honor society. In 2014, I was awarded the College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Teacher Award, and in 2023, I was awarded the Great Teacher Award, Temple's highest teaching honor.

Curriculum Vitae

Selected Publications

  • 2023. Wray, Matt & Catherine Wolfe, “White Settler Colonialism, ‘Chromanyms,’ and the Trouble with Marginal Whites.” Rikke Andreassen et al., eds. Routledge International Handbook of New Critical Race & Whiteness Studies. London: Routledge. Pp. 408-418. ISBN: 9780367637699. DOI: 10.4324/9781003120612
  • 2019. Wray, Matt. “A Typology of White People in America.” In Lia Kindiger & Mark Schmitt, eds. Intersections of Whiteness. New York: Routledge. Pp. 38-52. ISBN: 9781351112796.
  • 2018. Wray, Matt. “Foreword to R. Vanneman and L. Cannon, The American Perception of Class.” Humanities Open Book Program. Philadelphia: Temple University Libraries and Temple University Press, pp. i-ix. DOI: 10.2307/j.ctv941wv0.1
  • 2018. Wray, Matt. “A Crisis of Identity, A Crisis of Place.” American Journal of Bioethics. 18: 23-25. DOI: 10.1080/15265161.2018.1516002.
  • 2017. Crawford, Nyron & Matt Wray. “Trump Syllabus 3.0.” Public Books (January 24).
  • 2016. Wray, Matt, Jessie Daniels, and Tina Fetner, eds., Promoting Sociological Research: A Toolkit. Washington, DC: American Sociological Association.
  • 2015. Wray, Matt, Katherine Chen, S. Megan Heller, & Jon Stern. “Burning Man: A Roundtable.” In Douglas Hartmann and Christopher Uggen, eds., Getting Culture. New York: W.W. Norton. Pp. 129-152. ISBN: 9780393920413.
  • 2014. Wray, Matt. “White Trash: The Social Origins of a Stigmatype.” In Douglas Hartmann and Christopher Uggen, eds., Color Lines and Racial Angles. New York: W.W. Norton. Pp. 83-93. ISBN: 9780393920390.

Courses Taught

  • History and Significance of Race
  • Urban Health
  • Proposal Writing