Matthew Mendoza graduated Amherst College summa cum laude as an Independent Scholar in 2010. After teaching in Spain through a Fulbright fellowship, he returned to Massachusetts to serve for two years as an Americorps VISTA in Boston. He worked for the city's workforce development board until the fall of 2015, when he started his doctoral studies in sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
He is pleased to be back in the area.
Up-to-date information can be found at his umass.edu page. The rest of this page is maintained as it was left in 2010.
At Amherst, my cursus emphasized the social processes of learning broadly, and the sociology of the American public school in particular. A proud product of Massachusetts public schools, I find myself returning to them to work and study; to challenge ideas acquired at college and to contribute to the education of others.
Emerging from this experience are my research interests in the anthropology of learning, the construction of objects by social scientists (and the social effects thereof), the acquisition and practical deployment of teacherly skill, and especially the confluence of all of these social processes at the levels of subjective experience and objective regularities (or, perhaps, the anthropological and sociological levels) of educational inequality and social differentiation.
My senior thesis, for example, examined ethnographically a year-long teacher education program (granting a master's in elementary education), focusing especially on how a predominantly white and female group of students learned to think though, talk about, and work with 'racial' and 'cultural' difference.