Medical Sociology, Race & Ethnicity, Cultural Sociology


My research and teaching interests include medical sociology, race and ethnicity, cultural sociology, and public sociology. I'm also affiliated faculty in the American Studies Program at Temple. 

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. I currently serve as an elected member of the Chair's Council of the Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities of the American Sociological Association and a 2015 nominee for chair-elect of the Section on Cultural Sociology. I'm also a member of the ASA's Task Force on Social Media where I chair the subcommittee on Promoting Research through Social Media. At Temple, I serve 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.

Curriculum Vitae

Selected Publications

  • Wray, M. 2015. "Race: Past, Present, and Future Tense." Review essay on Jess Row's Your Face in Mine, Claudia Rankine's Citizen: An American Lyric and Darryl Pinckney's Blackballed: The Black Vote and US Democracy. In Public Books (February 15).
  • Wray, M. 2014. "It's Not So Sunny in Philadelphia." Contexts. 13:1 (Winter). - Wray, M. 2013.
  • "What Durkheim Missed." Contexts. 12:4 (Fall). - Wray, M. ed. 2013. Cultural Sociology: An Introductory Reader. New York: W.W. Norton. Table of Contents and Introduction here. - Klugman, J, G Condran, M Wray. 2013.
  • "The Role of Medicolegal Systems in Producing Geographic Variation in Suicide Rates." Social Science Quarterly. Abstract here. - Wray, M, J Gurvey, M Miller, I Kawachi. 2012.
  • "Estimating Visitor Suicide Risk in Destination Cities: A Reply to Zarkowski and Nguyen." Social Science & Medicine. 74(10):1471-73.
  • Wray, M. 2012. "Surviving the Odds: Preventing Suicide in Las Vegas." Contexts. Vol. 11:1 (Winter).
  • Wray, M, T Poladko, M V Allen. 2011. "Suicide Trends in Nevada: An Update." In D. Shalin, ed. The Social Health of Nevada, Vol. 2.
  • Wray, M., C Colen, B Pescosolido. 2011. "The Sociology of Suicide." Annual Review of Sociology #37.

Courses Taught

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