Prof. Chris Smith and MA graduate Taylor Domingos publish article on gender, race, and police violence

July 5, 2024 by Juanita Lam

Assistant Professor Chris Smith and MA graduate Taylor Domingos’ new article in Socius examines the relationship between gender, race, and police violence. In the article, “When Femininity Is Irrelevant: Gender Similarities and Racial Differences in Fatal and Nonfatal Police Violence in California, 2016–2021”, the authors argue that while police violence cannot be understood without taking masculinity into consideration, police responses to women as violent disregard – render irrelevant – women’s femininity. Drawing on quantitative data from California alongside archival data, they find that when police perceive civilians as armed, women and men of the same racial group are equally likely to experience (fatal relative to nonfatal) police violence; however, there are racial differences in police weapons perceptions. The authors conclude: “When women are in high-conflict, violent situations, other statuses become hyper-present beyond women’s femininity.”

Full article out now in Socius (open access).

Chris Smith is Assistant Professor in Sociology at the University of Toronto. Her research areas include crime and inequality, criminal relationships, and criminal organizations.

Taylor Domingos graduated with an MA from the Department of Sociology, and now is a graduate student at Northwestern University.