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Christopher O'Connor

Assistant Professor

Graduate Program Director, Criminology

Faculty of Social Science and Humanities

Contact information

Bordessa Hall - Room 316
Downtown Oshawa
55 Bond Street East
Oshawa, ON

905.721.8668 ext. 5882

christopher.o’ and


Dr. Christopher O’Connor received his PhD in Sociology from the University of Calgary where he studied school-to-work transitions and perceptions of crime in the boomtown of Fort McMurray, Alberta. He completed his master’s degree in Sociology and his Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Carleton University. Prior to joining the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Dr. O’Connor was an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Wisconsin—Superior.


  • MA, Sociology Carleton University
  • PhD, Sociology University of Calgary

Courses taught

  • Advanced Qualitative Methods
  • Professional Seminar
  • Data Analysis
  • Advanced Justice Studies
  • Integrating Projects

Research and expertise

Research background and interests:

  • youth crime, truancy, and school-to-work transitions
  • auto theft, technology and crime
  • citizen attitudes toward the police
  • energy security, oil, crime and boomtowns
  • citizenship and youth councils

Research supervision areas:

  • youth crime
  • policing
  • school-to-work transitions
  • social impacts of resource booms
  • perceptions of crime, risk and disorder


  • Selected publications

    O’Connor, C.D. (2017). Oil, crime, and disorder: A methodological examination of the oil boom’s impact in North Dakota. Deviant Behavior. 38(4), 477-491 (originally published online in 2016).

    O’Connor, C.D. (2015). The police on Twitter: Image management, community building, and implications for policing in Canada. Policing and Society. Advanced Online Publication. DOI:10.1080/10439463.2015.1120731.

    O’Connor, C.D. (2015). Classed, raced, and gendered biographies: Young people’s understandings of social structures in a boomtown. Journal of Youth Studies. Advanced online publication DOI: 10.1080/13676261.2014.1001829.

    O’Connor, C.D. (2014). Insiders and outsiders: Social change, deviant others, and sense of community in a boomtown. International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice. Advanced online publication DOI: 10.1080/01924036.2014.973049.

    O’Connor, C.D. (2014). Agency and reflexivity in boomtown transitions: Young people deciding on a school and work direction. Journal of Education and Work. 27(4): 372-391 (originally published online in 2012).

    O’Connor, C.D. (2013). Engaging young people? The experiences, challenges, and successes of Canadian youth advisory councils. In Sociological Studies of Children and Youth, edited by S.K. Nenga and J.K. Taft. Vol. 16, Emerald.

    O’Connor, C.D. (2011). Young people experiencing work in a boomtown labour market. In Young People and Work, edited by R. Price, P. McDonald, B. Pini, and J. Bailey. Ashgate.

    O’Connor, C.D. (2010). Empowered communities or self-governing citizens? (Re)examining Social Control Within the Move toward Community. In Social Control: Informal, Legal and Medical, edited by J.J. Chriss. Emerald.

    O’Connor, C.D. (2008). Citizen attitudes toward the police in Canada. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management. 31(4): 578-595.

    O’Connor, C.D. & Kelly, K. (2006). Auto theft and youth culture: A nexus of masculinities, femininities and car culture. Journal of Youth Studies. Vol. 9(3): 247-268.

    O’Connor, C.D. (2006). Preventing the theft of motor vehicles: The limits of deterrence. Journal of Passenger Cars: Electronic and Electrical Systems. 115: 969-978.

  • Recent conference presentations

    O’Connor, C.D. and Fredericks, K. (2017). “Citizen perceptions on energy: The risks and opportunities of fracking, pipelines, and natural gas in Canada.” 52nd Annual meeting of the Canadian Sociological Association. Toronto, Ontario, May.

    O’Connor, C.D. and Zaidi, H. (2016). “Police presence on social media: Engaging the public and best practices for interacting online.” 72nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology. New Orleans, Louisiana, November.

    O’Connor, C.D. (2016). “Living in the belly of the beast: Young people’s perceptions of Alberta’s oilsands and its impact on the environment and economy.” 51st Annual Meeting of the Canadian Sociological Association. Calgary, Alberta, June.

    O’Connor, C.D. (2015). “Theorizing youth truancy: Rethinking absence and (re)framing justice responses.” 52nd Annual Meeting of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. Orlando, Florida, March.

    O’Connor, C.D. (2014). “The Police on Twitter: Best Practices and Implications for Community Policing.” 70th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology. San Francisco, California, November.

    O’Connor, C. D. (2014). “An examination of the impact of North Dakota’s oil boom on crime.” 51st Annual Meeting of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, February.

    O’Connor, C.D. (2013). “North American Energy Security/Insecurity: All Roads lead to Fort McMurray, Alberta.” 22nd Biennial Association for Canadian Studies in the United States Conference. Tampa, Florida, November.