Grad Students

Matthew P. Fox

Contact Information

Office  106A Haines Hall

I am a sociologist of law with interests related to criminal law and criminal-justice policy. My research broadly focuses on the role that human behavior plays in the formulation and implementation of criminal law, both with regard to its effects on codified legal text as well as law’s enforcement in practice. I explore legal processes on three different theoretical levels: how individuals orient to legal categories and enact them during interaction; how legal knowledge diffuses among American states and the factors related to knowledge transfer; and how nations create conditions that allow for law-enforcement cooperation despite differing legal systems and principles. My dissertation, Social Analyses of the Behavior of Law and Regulation: Parsing the Processes of Formulation, Application and Interpretation of Legal Rules, is composed of three different projects that study social processes underlying criminal law. The first project examines lay people's attitude toward law as evident from a jury deliberation, the second project examines the diffusion across American states of statutes that protect children or explicate their rights, and the third project examines international cooperation in the enforcement of the American Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977.

Fields of Study

Criminal Justice (Comparative Law, Court Systems, Criminal Law, Juries, Legal Diffusion) and Sociology (Criminology, Economic Sociology [Organizational Theory], Policy Diffusion, Sociology of Culture and Knowledge, Sociology of Law [specifically Criminal Law])


Journal Articles

Legal Consciousness in Action: Lay People and Accountability in the Jury Room” (Forthcoming at Qualitative Sociology)

Clayman, S., & Fox, M. (2017). Hardballs and Softballs: Modulating Adversarialness in Journalistic Questioning. Journal of Language and Politics, 16(1), 20-40.

Ahalt, C., Williams, B., Rios, S., Fox, M., Farabee, D. & Haney, C. (2017). Reducing the Use and Impact of Solitary Confinement in California’s Prisons. International Journal of Prisoner Health, 13(1), 41-48.

Encyclopedia Articles

Fox, M. (Forthcoming). Antilynching Legislation. In S. Mustakeem & D. Flowe (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Racial Violence. Westport: Greenwood Press.

Grants and Awards

UCLA Graduate Division Dissertation Year Fellowship 2019-2020

UCLA Department of Sociology Graduate Fellowship 2018-2019 

UCLA Canadian Studies Graduate Student Award 2018                                                                            

Law and Society Association Junior Scholars Workshop 2018                                                                                 

Taiwan Studies Lectureship Graduate Fellowship 2016 

UCLA Graduate Summer Research Mentorship (Declined) 2013                                                               

UCLA Graduate Summer Research Mentorship 2012                                                                             

UCLA Department of Sociology Graduate Fellowship 2011-2012                                                      


Lynne G. Zucker (Co-Chair)

Máximo Langer (Co-Chair; UCLA School of Law)

Gabriel Rossman

Steven Clayman

Christopher Erickson (UCLA Anderson School of Management)


Candidate of Philosophy in Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles (2016)

Master of Arts in Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles (2013)

Master of Arts in Criminology, University of Pennsylvania (2011)

Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, University of Pennsylvania (2011)