Chris Smith is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto. She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2015 and was previously at the University of California, Davis. Her areas of specialization include crime and inequality, feminist criminology, historical research methods, organized crime, police violence, social network analysis, sociology of gender, and urban sociology. Chris’s research on crime and inequality, criminal relationships, and criminal organizations examines how relationships unequally embed individuals in criminal markets and violence situations, and how the consequences of these processes impact broader social inequalities.

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.


Chris’s ongoing research projects include: corruption in Chicago organized crime (with Jared Joseph, University of California, Davis), race and gender differences in police violence (with Brianna Remster and Rory Kramer, Villanova University), neighbourhood changes in illicit markets (with Sharon Oselin, University of California, Riverside), and an early book project on the structural insignificance of Al Capone (with Andy Papachristos, Northwestern University).

Chris has published in American Sociological ReviewCity & Community, Crime & Delinquency, and three edited volumes. Chris’s research has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Justice, the University of California, Davis, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Chris has received multiple teaching awards including the university-wide Distinguished Teaching Award at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Click here for Chris’s extended bio.