Dr Matthew Bennett

Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology
Lecturer in Social Policy

Contact details

Department of Social Policy and Social Work
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Matthew is a lecturer in Social Policy in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work. He is the Director of Postgraduate Taught Programmes and also the Programme Coordinator for the MA in Social Research (Social Policy) and the MA in Social Research (Social Work and Professional Practice). Matt is also a researcher in the Third Sector Research Centre.


  • DPhil in Sociology, Nuffield College, University of Oxford (2014)
  • MSc in Sociology, Nuffield College, University of Oxford (2009)
  • BA (Hons) in Psychology and Sociology, University of Washington (2008)


Matthew is a quantitative social scientist and joined the the Department in September 2013 as a lecturer. He has been a Research Fellow in the Third Sector Research Centre since 2012.

Matthew’s research interests are in the causes and consequences of prosocial behaviour; social identity; intergroup contact; and quantitative methods.


Matthew is currently teaching on the BA in Social Policy and the MA in Social Research. He mainly teaches research methods and social statistics.


Matthew is interested in the causes and consequences of prosocial behaviour, such as volunteering and charitable giving. He is particularly interested in how the social environment in which people live influences their decisions to volunteer and give. His research in this area has included how the contexts of countries, neighbourhoods and schools have influenced prosocial behaviours.   

Matthew’s research also explores how aspects of the social environment, such as ethnic and religious heterogeneity, impacts upon the inter-relationship between social identity, intergroup relations, and social cohesion.  


Book contributions

Bennett, Matthew. R. (2014). “Religiosity and Formal Volunteering in Global Perspective” Pp. 77-96 in Religion and Volunteering: Complex, Contested and Ambiguous Relationships, edited by L. Hustinx, J. von Essen, J. Haers, and S. Mels. London: Springer

Wiertz, Dingeman, Matthew R. Bennett, and Meenakshi Parameshwaran (2014). “Ethnic Heterogeneity, Ethnic and National Identity, and Social Cohesion in England” Pp. 123-42 in Social Cohesion and Immigration in Europe and North America: Mechanisms, Conditions and Causality, edited by R. Koopmans, B. Lancee, and M. Schaeffer. London: Routledge.

Reports and other publications

Bennett, Matthew R., Sarah L. Bulloch, and John Mohan. (2013). “Age Trends in Civic Engagement in the UK.” In the call for evidence by the House of Lords, UK Parliament on The Impact of Demographic Change in Public Services, edited by Lord Bichard, Baroness Blackstone, Baroness Finlay, Lord Griffiths, Lord Mawhinney, Baroness Morgan, Baroness Shephard, Lord Tope, Lord Touhig, Baroness Tyler the House of Lords, UK Parliament.

Bennett, Matthew R. and Meenakshi Parameshwaran. (2013) “What makes young people volunteer?”Understanding Society podcast https://www.understandingsociety.ac.uk/podcasts/2013/13.