Chris Smith

Chris Smith

Assistant Professor

Chris M. Smith, Ph.D. (University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2015), is an Assistant Professor of Sociology. She researches crime and inequality, criminal relationships, and criminal organizations to identify how relationships and interactions unequally embed individuals in criminal markets, criminal opportunities, and violence. Her areas of specialization include crime and inequality, feminist criminology, historical research methods, illicit markets, organized crime, social network analysis, sociology of gender, urban sociology, and violence. Chris's book Syndicate Women: Gender and Networks in Chicago Organized Crime (University of California Press 2019) is a historical social network analysis of gender, criminal markets, and organized crime from Chicago's Prohibition era. She has published research in American Sociological ReviewCity & CommunityCrime & Delinquency, Criminology, Global CrimeSocial Problems, and others. Her latest project, Vice for Sale, is a 30-year examination of illicit markets and neighbourhood change in Chicago and Toronto.

Chris's research has received funding from Canada’s Social Science and Humanities Research Council, the U.S. National Science Foundation, and the U.S. National Institute of Justice. Chris has received multiple teaching awards and fellowships, and she is a 2024 recipient of the Jeannette Wright Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Mentorship.

Ph.D. (Sociology, University of Massachusetts Amherst)
B.A. (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire)


Selected Publications

Domingos, Taylor and Chris M. Smith. 2024. "When Femininity Is Irrelevant: Gender Similarities and Racial Differences in Fatal and Nonfatal Police Violence in California, 2016–2021." Socius 10:1-15.

Remster, Brianna, Chris M. Smith, and Rory Kramer. 2024. "Race, Gender, and Police Violence in the Shadow of Controlling Images." Social Problems 71(2):353-376.

Joseph, Jared and Chris M. Smith. 2021. "The Ties that Bribe: Corruption's Embeddedness in Chicago Organized Crime." Criminology 59(4):671-703.

Smith, Chris M. 2020. "Exogenous Shocks, the Criminal Elite, and Increasing Gender Inequality in Chicago Organized Crime." American Sociological Review 85(5):895-923.

Smith, Chris M. 2019. Syndicate Women: Gender and Networks in Chicago Organized Crime. Oakland, CA: University of California Press.

Smith, Chris M. and Andrew V. Papachristos. 2016. "Trust Thy Crooked Neighbor: Multiplexity in Chicago Organized Crime Networks." American Sociological Review 81(4):644-667.


Crime and Inequality; Feminist Criminology; Historical Research Methods; Illicit Markets; Organized Crime; Social Network Analysis; Sociology of Gender; Urban Sociology; Violence
Current Courses
SOC219H5, SOC333H5, SOC350H5, SOC363H5