Chris Smith is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto. Her areas of specialization include crime and inequality, feminist criminology, historical research methods, illicit markets, organized crime, social network analysis, sociology of gender, violence, 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, illicit markets, and organized crime from Chicago’s Prohibition era.


Chris’s ongoing research projects include: race and gender inequalities in non-fatal police violence (with Brianna Remster and Rory Kramer, Villanova University, and Taylor Domingos, Northwestern University), a SSHRC funded project on neighbourhood changes in illicit markets (with Sharon Oselin and Lexi Harari, University of California, Riverside, and Emily Hammond and Taylor Domingos, University of Toronto), 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, CriminologyCrime & Delinquency, Global Crime, Social Problems, and others. Chris’s research has received funding from Canada’s Social Science and Humanities Research Council, the US National Science Foundation, the US National Institute of Justice, the University of Toronto Mississauga, 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.

Chris received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2015 and held a previous appointment at the University of California, Davis.

Click here for Chris’s extended bio.