Recent PhD Graduate, Dr. Matty Lichtenstein, Discusses Institutionalizing Child Welfare on Matrix Podcast

"Institutionalizing Child Welfare: An Interview with Matty Lichtenstein" is live on the UC Berkeley Social Science Matrix Podcast.


How do American child welfare and obstetric healthcare converge? Matty Lichtenstein, a recent PhD from UC Berkeley’s Department of Sociology, studies how state and professional organizations shape social and health inequalities in maternal and child welfare. Her current book project focuses on evolving conceptions of risk in social work and medicine, illustrated by a study of the intertwined development of American child and perinatal protective policies. She is working on several collaborations related to this theme, including studies of maltreatment-related fatality rates, the racialization of medical reporting of substance-exposed infants, and risk assessment in child welfare.

In another stream of research, she has written on social policy change, with a focus on educational regulation and political advocacy, and she has conducted research on culture, religion, and politics. Dr. Lichtenstein’s work has been published in American Journal of Sociology, Qualitative Methods, and Sociological Methods and Research. She is currently a postdoctoral research associate at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University.

In this podcast episode, Matrix content curator Julia Sizek speaks with Lichtenstein about her research on the transformation of American child welfare — and the impact of that transformation on contemporary maternal and infant health practices.