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

Chris has published in American Sociological ReviewCity & Community, Crime & Delinquency, and two 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.

Chris’s research on historical organized crime networks is based on 5,000 pages of archival documents used to create a relational database with information on more than 3,321 individuals and their 15,861 social relationships. Chris and Andrew Papachristos (Yale University) have published on the topic of multiplexity in organized crime. Chris’s current work with this database examines how women’s structural positions in early 1900s Chicago organized crime networks diminished over time. Chris’s new research project compiles a database based on more than 11,000 news reports from 2015 on hostile or dangerous interactions between civilians and police to examine differences in fatal and nonfatal outcomes.

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