Matrix Research Teams

Matrix Research Teams are groups of scholars who gather regularly to explore or develop a novel question of significance in the social sciences. Successful research teams integrate participants from several social-science disciplines and diverse ranks (i.e. faculty and graduate students); address a compelling research question with real-world significance; and deploy or develop appropriate methodologies in creative ways. Matrix teams may address any social science research question, theoretical or empirical, drawing on any of the social sciences. Matrix is especially interested in original and emerging approaches that explore new theoretical and empirical questions, and that combine research at different scales and from different methodologies.

Research Team

Post-Imperial Oceans

Despite recognition of human reliance on the world ocean, we live in a world of oceanic fragments splintered by legacies of past and present imperial processes. The Post-imperial Oceanics working group thinks across the fragmented aftermaths of oceanic imperial processes, drawing from historical and geographic work on the ocean world, as well as from the […]

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Research Team

Data Feminism(s): Troubling data and power in our backyard and elsewhere

The present pandemic is highlighting how gender and racial disparities in labor and health impacts one’s exposure and susceptibility to COVID. Now, we’re furiously collecting as much data as possible. But once we have this data, what becomes of it? Disaggregating data and ensuring representative samples are important statistical practices, but what material results do […]

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Research Team

Critical University Studies

A scholarly community led by graduate students, Critical University Studies (CUS) seeks to: 1) deepen our theoretical inquiry of critical studies of higher education and develop theoretical and empirical connections with critical studies of race, gender, and class. We draw inspiration from the black radical tradition, black feminism, indigenous studies, and decolonial theory. Next, we […]

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Research Team

COVID-19 & Natural Resources

“COVID and Natural Resources” examines how the 2020 coronavirus pandemic interrupted the ways minerals, oil, and gas are mined, processed, circulated, and consumed. Gold prices, unsurprisingly, rose with the number of the sick, while the unthinkable — a negative price for oil on the West Texas Intermediate on April 20 — made international news, raising […]

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Research Team

The Asian City: New Models of City-Making

Driven by convergent and disparate forces of governance and capital markets, the contemporary Asian city represents a new model┬áthat differs from those in the Anglo-American or European planning traditions. Beyond a site of engagement with capitalism or postcolonialism, Asian cities are nodes of specific local, regional, and national articulations in the pursuit of globality. The […]

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Research Team

Psychology & Economics of Poverty

The Psychology and Economics of Poverty (PEP) Initiative represents a new research agenda exploring the cognitive and behavioral effects of poverty, by cultivating a tight-knit community of development economists, cognitive and social psychologists, and other scientists working on poverty reduction. The initiative will strengthen a nascent community of practice by: coordinating cross-disciplinary lab meetings and […]

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Research Team

Community Cooperation and the Police in Comparative Perspective

A fundamental role of the state is to provide security and order, and the police are the consummate street-level bureaucrat serving to provide these functions, but their success fundamentally relies on earning the trust and cooperation from citizens. We explore how positive relationships between citizens and the police are built. We examine existing work on […]

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Research Team

Fall 2019 Matrix Working Groups

Social Science Matrix is pleased to host nine interdisciplinary working groups for the 2019-2020 academic year. Members of the UC Berkeley community who are interested in participating in one of these groups should contact the organizer(s). AI & Philosophy Abstract: The normative and technical questions that arise in integrating AI and society contain many unknown […]

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Research Team

Authors Meet Critics: Fall 2019

"Authors Meet Critics" is a new series of book talks featuring lively discussions on recent social science publications. These events are open to the public.  The Populist Temptation: Economic Grievance and Political Reaction in the Modern Era RSVP HERE October 3, 2019, 4pm-5:30pm820 Barrows Hall, UC Berkeley Please join us on October 3, 2019 at […]

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Research Team

Water, Wealth, and Power in the U.S.

Water is being financed, priced, marketized, and governed under novel ownership regimes. These interventions have the potential to disrupt or entrench convergences between water, wealth, and power. While income is widely recognized as a determinant of water access, recent research also posits an inverse relationship between water, wealth and power: for instance, disproportionately high costs […]

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Research Team

Topology as Method: Surfaces for Social Science

Topology, often opposed to rigid geometry, is the study of the properties of spaces that are invariant under certain deformations. Space, as domain of social inquiry, knots together issues of human perception, affect and body, event, structure and agency, movement and circulation, and individuation and differentiation, and as such, necessitates interdisciplinary work. Rather than beginning […]

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Research Team

Science Denial: Media, Public Policy, Power, and Scientific Truth

Who has the power to speak publicly for science, set scientific agendas, and give shape to science policy? Why do some reject their positions? How does news coverage of science perpetuate the trend? This Matrix prospecting team will convene scholars from across the UC campus to critically examine the process of scientific consensus and contestation, […]

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