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Produced by the University of California, Berkeley’s Social Science Matrix, the Matrix Podcast features interviews with scholars from across the UC Berkeley campus (and beyond). Listen and subscribe on Google Podcasts or Apple Podcasts.

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Podcast

The Rise of Mass Incarceration: An Interview with Chris Muller and Alex Roehrkasse

On this episode of the Matrix Podcast, Julia Sizek spoke with two UC Berkeley scholars whose work focuses on explaining how mass incarceration has changed over the last 30 years. Alex Roehrkasse is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Butler University. He studies the production of racial, class, and gender inequality in the […]

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Authors Meet Critics

Recap

The Government of Emergency: Vital Systems, Expertise, and the Politics of Security

Watch the video (or listen to the recording) of our recent "Authors Meet Critics" panel discussion on the book "The Government of Emergency: Vital Systems, Expertise, and the Politics of Security," by Stephen Collier and Andrew Lakoff, which explores the evolution of how experts and officials prepare for catastrophic risks. The authors were joined in conversation by Cathryn Carson and Michael Watts, with Aihwa Ong moderating.

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Podcast

Interview

Economic Benefits of Higher Education: Zach Bleemer and Maximilian Müller

Why do people choose to go to college (or not)? What impact do race-based or financial aid policies have on higher education and the broader economy? In this episode of the Matrix Podcast, Julia Sizek spoke with two UC Berkeley-trained economists whose research focuses on the economic impacts of higher education. Maximilian Müller completed his PhD […]

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Podcast

Interview

A Changing Landscape for Farmers in India: An Interview with Aarti Sethi and Tanya Matthan

In this episode of the Matrix Podcast, Julia Sizek spoke with two UC Berkeley scholars – Aarti Sethi and Tanya Matthan – who study agrarian life in India, where farmers have been forced to adapt to the rise of pesticides, genetically modified seeds, and other technologies.

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Podcast

Interview

Institutionalizing Child Welfare: An Interview with Matty Lichtenstein

This episode of the Matrix Podcast features an interview with Matty Lichtenstein, a recent PhD from Berkeley’s Sociology Department, who studies how state and professional organizations shape social and health inequalities in maternal and child welfare. The interview focuses on Lichtenstein's research on the transformation of American child welfare and the impact of that transformation on contemporary maternal and infant health practices.

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Article

Podcast

Race, Gender, and Political Speech: An Interview with Gabriella Licata

When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was insulted on the Capitol steps in July 2020, it was a brief media sensation. But what does being called an “effing bitch” mean for how we think about political speech? This episode of the Matrix Podcast features an interview with Gabriella Licata, a PhD candidate in Romance Languages and Literatures at UC Berkeley, focused on how the standard language ideologies of political speech come to shape perceptions of language and people in Congress.

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Panel

Recap

Floods and Equity: A Panel Discussion

Floods are the most destructive natural hazard, both at the national and international scale, and they disproportionately affect people of color and the poor. In this presentation, recorded on May 12, 2022, panelists Danielle Zoe Rivera and Jessica Ludy drew upon their research to discuss pathways to improving on the current situation.

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Matrix On Point

Recap

One Million COVID Deaths

Recorded on May 10, 2022, this panel examined the physical, material and psychological toll of the past two years of rampant disease, on-and-off social distancing, and shifting economic ground. The panelists discussed the unequal distribution of the pandemic’s burden across the population and the long-term scarring that may ensue, and contemplated the (possibly more uplifting) lessons to be drawn for the future.

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Matrix On Point

Recap

Organize! Power and Collective Action

What can we learn from historical and contemporary cases about building organizations that engage, mobilize, and manage to wield influence on the political process? What kinds of infrastructural choices best support engagement and success in the long run? Recorded on May 5, 2022, this panel explored the varied and changing terrain of collective action to reflect on the nature, promises, and pitfalls of associational power in the 21st century.

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Matrix Research Team

Recap

Digital Transformations in Global Land, Housing, and Property

Recorded on April 27, 2022, this panel discussion brought together members of the UC Berkeley Social Science Matrix Research Team on Digital Transformations in Property and Development to discuss how state, corporations, and grassroots actors are employing digital technologies to remake global land, housing, and property.

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Authors Meet Critics

Recap

Engineering Vulnerability: In Pursuit of Climate Adaptation

Recorded on April 22, 2022, this “Author Meets Critics” panel focused on the book Engineering Vulnerability: In Pursuit of Climate Adaptation by Sarah Vaughn, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at UC Berkeley. Professor Vaughn was joined in conversation by Stephen Collier, Professor of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley, and Sugata Ray, Associate Professor in the Departments of History of Art and South and Southeast Asian Studies at UC Berkeley. The panel was moderated by Daniel Aldana Cohen, Assistant Professor of Sociology at UC Berkeley and Director of the Socio-Spatial Climate Collaborative, or (SC)2. This event was co-sponsored by the UC Berkeley Office of Sustainability.

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Matrix On Point

Recap

The Future of Money: Mobile Money, Social Media, and Cashless Economies

Focusing on forms of cashless payment, such as mobile money and apps, this "Matrix on Point" panel explored questions about how the social connections made through money are changing, and what the implications might be for our understanding of money, trust, and social connection. The panel featured Kevin Donovan, Lecturer in the Centre of African Studies at the University of Edinburgh; Lana Swartz, Assistant Professor of Media Studies at the University of Virginia; and Jayati Ghosh, Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The panel was moderated by Marion Fourcade, Professor of Sociology at UC Berkeley and Director of Social Science Matrix.

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