University of Massachusetts Amherst

Department of Sociology



Chris Smith

Chris Smith


Chris Smith is a seventh year Ph.D. candidate in residence. Her teaching and research interests include crime and inequality, feminist criminology, historical narrative, organized crime, prisons, social network analysis, sociology of family, sociology of gender, and urban sociology. Chris has received the University's Distinguished Teaching Award, a National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant, and a University Graduate School Fellowship. Chris lived in Horodok, Ukraine as a Peace Corps volunteer from 2004-2006.


2002 B.A. Sociology University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire


  • Dissertation Prospectus defended August 2012.
    "Women and Organized Crime in Early 1900s Chicago."
  • Second Comprehensive Exam defended January 2013.
    "Multiplexity and Organized Crime in Early 1900s Chicago: Criminal, Legitimate, and Personal Relations"
    (Received 2nd place in the American Society of Criminology Gene Carte Student Paper Competition)
  • First Comprehensive Exam defended March 2011.
    "The Influence of Gentrification on Gang Homicides in Chicago, 1994 to 2005."
    (Received the Department of Sociology's annual "Best Comps Award")
  • Research Assistant and Project Manager for Andrew Papachristos on organized crime in Chicago


  • Papachristos, Andrew V. and Chris M. Smith. Forthcoming. "The Embedded and Multiplex Nature of Al Capone." In Crime and Networks, edited by C. Morselli. New York: Routledge.
  • Smith, Chris M. Forthcoming. "The Influence of Gentrification on Gang Homicides in Chicago, 1994 to 2005." Crime & Delinquency.
  • Papachristos, Andrew V., Chris M. Smith, Mary L. Scherer, and Melissa A. Fugiero. 2011. "More Coffee, Less Crime? The Relationship between Gentrification and Neighborhood Crime Rates in Chicago, 1991 to 2005." City & Community 10(3):215-40.


Courses Taught

URBN 1230 – Crime and Policing, Spring 2013, Brown University
SOCIOL 344 – Gender and Crime, Spring 2012

Teaching Assistantships

SOCIOL 107 – Contemporary American Society, Fall 2007
SOCIOL 103 – Social Problems, Spring 2008
SOCIOL 222 – Sociology of the Family, Fall 2008 & Fall 2010
SOCIOL 213 – Data Collection and Analysis, Fall 2009
SOCIOL 401 – Foundations of Sociological Theory, Spring 2011


Department of Sociology • Thompson Hall • University of Massachusetts–Amherst, MA 01003