[PDF version]


E-mail: matt.rafalow(at)gmail.com


University of California, Irvine
PhD in Sociology, 2016

Columbia University, Teachers College
MA in Sociology and Education, 2010


Education, Youth, Digital Technology, Culture, Research Design, Social Theory


Visiting Scholar, UC Berkeley (2019 – Present)

Sr. Researcher, Google (2018 – Present)

Researcher, Google (2016 – 2018)

Researcher, The Governance Lab (Summer 2014)

Scientist, Yahoo! Labs (Summer 2013)

Graduate Researcher, Connected Learning Research Network (2011 – 2016)


Rafalow, Matthew H. Forthcoming. Digital Divisions: How Schools Create Inequality in the Tech Era. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Ito, Mizuko, Crystle Martin, Rachel Cody Pfister, Matthew H. Rafalow, Katie Salen and Amanda Wortman. 2018. Affinity Online: How Connection and Shared Interest Fuel Learning. New York: NYU Press. [Link]


Rafalow, Matthew H. 2019. Review of Technically Together: Reconstructing Community in a Networked World, by Taylor Dotson, MIT Press, 2017. Contemporary Sociology 48(2):159-161. [Link] [Open access pre-print]

Rafalow, Matthew H. 2018. “Disciplining Play: Digital Youth Culture as Capital at School.” American Journal of Sociology. [Link] [Open access pre-print]

Rafalow, Matthew H. and Jessica M. Kizer. 2017. “Mommy Markets: Racial Differences in Lesbians’ Dating Preferences for Women with Children.” Journal of Lesbian Studies. [Link] [Open access pre-print]

Rafalow, Matthew H., Cynthia Feliciano, and Belinda Robnett. 2017. “Racialized Femininity and Masculinity in the Preferences of Lesbian and Gay Male Daters.” Social Currents. [Link] [Open access pre-print]

Rafalow, Matthew H. and Britni L. Adams. 2016. “Navigating the Tavern: Technology-Mediated Connections and Relationship Persistence in Bar Settings.” Symbolic Interaction. [Link] [Open access pre-print]

Rafalow, Matthew H. 2016 “Tinkering Online: Digital Supports for Making and Sharing.” In Makeology: Makerspaces as Learning Environments, edited by Kylie Peppler, Erica Halverson, and Yasmin Kafai. New York: Routledge Press. [Link] [Open access pre-print]

Korobkova, Ksenia, and Matthew H. Rafalow. 2016. “Navigating Digital Publics for Playful Production: A Cross-Case Analysis of Two Interest-Driven Online Communities.” Digital Culture & Education 8(10). [Link] [Open access pre-print]

Rafalow, Matthew H. 2015. “n00bs, Trolls, and Idols: Boundary-Making among Digital Youth.” Sociological Studies of Children and Youth. [Link] [Open access pre-print]

Martin, Crystle and Matthew H. Rafalow. 2015. “Gendered Barriers to Participation in Gaming Cultures.” In Proceedings of GenderIT Conference, Philadephia, PA, April 25. [Link]

Rafalow, Matthew H. 2014. “Connected Learning at School: The U.S. Context.” Revue Internationale D’Éducation Sévres (RIES). [Link] [Draft PDF]

Rafalow, Matthew H. 2014. “Fashioning Learning: Connected Learning through Fashion Design.” Case report for the Connected Learning Research Network. Irvine, CA: Digital Media and Learning Research Hub. [PDF]

Rafalow, Matthew H. 2014. “The Digital Divide in Classroom Technology Use: A Comparison of Three Schools.” International Journal of Sociology of Education 3(1): 67-100. [PDF]

Rafalow, Matthew H. 2014. “Welcome to Sackboy Planet: Learning Among LittleBigPlanet 2 Players.” Case report for the Connected Learning Research Network. Irvine, CA: Digital Media and Learning Research Hub. [PDF]

Rafalow, Matthew H. 2013. “Gender Theories in Education.” In Sociology of Education: An A-to-Z Guide, ed. James Ainsworth. SAGE publications. [Link] [Draft PDF]


Reviewer: Social Science Research, Journal of Family Issues, New Media & Society, Computer-Human Interaction, International Journal of Sociology of Education, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, MIT Press, Sociological Perspectives, Teachers College Record, American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Social Forces, Social Problems, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, New Media & Society, Qualitative Sociology
Council, ASA Communications, Information Technologies, and Media Sociology Section (2019-2021)
Council, ASA Section on Children & Youth (2018-2019)
Board of Directors, Sociology of Education Association (2017-Present)
Program Committee, Media & Communication, Pacific Sociological Association (2018)
Communications Committee, ASA Section on Children & Youth (2016-2018)
Digital Editor, Sociology of Education Association (2014-Present)
Junior Scholar and Advisor, Digital Media & Learning Commons for Professional Development, UCI (2014-2016)
Admissions Committee, Department of Sociology, UCI (2013-14)
Mentoring Committee, Digital Media and Learning Conference (2012)
Faculty-Student Representative, SGSA, UCI (2011-12)
Cohort Representative, SGSA, UCI (2011-12)
Welcoming Committee, SGSA, UCI (2011)
Mentor for the UCI LGBT Mentoring Program (2010-Present)
Publications Committee, Section on Children & Youth (2009-Present)
American Sociological Association (ASA) Member (2007-Present)
ASA Section Member: Children & Youth, Education, Culture, Sex/Gender, Race/Class/Gender, Sexualities (2007-Present)
Alumni Recruitment Committee, University of Richmond (2007-Present)
Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies Student Rep., University of Richmond (2005-06)


Best Paper Award, Communication, Informational Technologies, and Media Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association (2019)
Best Paper Award (Honorable Mention), Children and Youth Section of the American Sociological Association (2019)
Best Student Paper Award, Communication, Informational Technologies, and Media Sociology  Section of the American Sociological Association (2016)
Semifinalist, Spencer Dissertation Award  (2016)
Outstanding Research Award, University of California-Irvine (2015)
Fellow, USC Annenberg Summer Institute on Diversity in Media & Culture (Summer 2014)
Summer Research Fellowship, University of California, Irvine (Summer 2012-14)
Bruce Wade Memorial Scholarship, University of California, Irvine (2012-13)
Semifinalist, Point Foundation Scholarship (2012)
Institute Fellow, University of California Educational Evaluation Center (Summer 2011)
Social Science Award, University of California, Irvine (2010-15)
Social Science Tuition Fellowship, University of California, Irvine (2010-11)
WILL Award for Outstanding Richmond College Student, University of Richmond (2006)
Scholarship Winner and Conference Participant, Consortium for Higher Education Collaboration (2005)
Full-Tuition Scholarship, University of Richmond (2002-06)


Data Analysis Software: SPSS, Stata, Dedoose, Excel
Data Collection: Field Methods (Interviews, Observation), Survey (Web data)
Languages: Spanish (basic), HTML (basic)

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