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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Christopher O'Connor

Associate Professor

Criminology and Justice

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



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 Ontario Tech University, Dr. O’Connor was an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Wisconsin—Superior.

Curriculum vitae


  • 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. and Shon, P.C. (2019). Civilising the police: Reconceptualizing the role of the state in theories of American policing. Global Crime. 20(1): 45-64.

    Walsh, J.P. and O’Connor, C.D. (2019). Social media and policing: A review of recent research. Sociology Compass. 13(1): 1-14.

    Zaidi, H., O’Connor, C.D., and Shon, P. (2019). Manufacturing a definition of the situation: A case study of a successful investigative failure in a homicide case. Critical Issues in Justice and Politics. 11(1): 152-171.

    Frederick, T., O’Connor, C.D., and Koziarski, J. (2018). Police interactions with people perceived to have a mental health problem: A critical review of frames, terminology, and definitions. Victims & Offenders. 13(8): 1037-1054.

    O’Connor, C.D. (2018). Social change, risk, and individualization: Young people’s perceptions of a large-scale oil extraction project. Journal of Youth Studies. 22(2): 273-289.

    Zaidi, H., O’Connor, C.D., and Shon, P. (2018). The intertextuality of narratives in homicide progress reports: The management of witness statements and ‘reportilying’ in a ‘failed’ homicide investigation. Law Enforcement Executive Forum. 18(3): 24-42.

    O’Connor, C.D. and Fredericks, K. (2018). Citizen perceptions of fracking: The risks and opportunities of natural gas development in Canada. Energy Research & Social Science. 42: 61-69.

    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., Frederick, T., Koziarski, J., and Kosarolo, K. (2019). Volunteer police: An examination of auxiliary police volunteer experiences in Canada. 46th Annual Meeting of the Western Society of Criminology. Honolulu, Hawaii, February.

    Charman, M. and O’Connor, C.D. (2018). Rethinking the rural: Crime, risk society, and social change. 74th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology. Atlanta, Georgia, November.

    Ostridge, L., O’Connor, C.D., and Frederick, T. (2018). Responding to sexual violence on post-secondary campuses: Models of response, on-campus investigations, and best practices for supporting survivors of sexual violence. XIX International Sociological Association World Congress of Sociology. Toronto, Ontario, July.

    Koziarski, J., Frederick, T., and O’Connor, C.D. (2018). Policing mental illness: A critical review of definitions, concepts, and terminology. 45th Annual Meeting of the Western Society of Criminology. Long Beach, California, February.

    O’Connor, C.D., Fredericks, K., and Kosoralo, K. (2017). Hydraulic fracturing and risk: A comparison of citizen perceptions of fracking to various types of energy developments. 54th Annual Meeting of the Australian Sociological Association. Perth, Australia, November.

    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.