Christopher O’Connor

Dr. Christopher O’Connor is an Associate Professor of Criminology at Ontario Tech University. His research examines energy resource boomtowns, people’s use and perceptions of emerging technologies, policing, and young people’s participation in crime, perceptions of the environment, and school-to-work transitions. Dr. O’Connor has recently completed a SSHRC Insight Development Grant examining the risks and opportunities of hydraulic fracturing and related renewable and non-renewable energy technologies. He is currently co-director on a SSHRC-funded Partnership Development grant examining facial recognition use by the police which involves working with a range of multi-disciplinary stakeholders to examine the viability of the technology for police use. He has published in a range of journals including Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, The Canadian Geographer, Policing and Society, Sociology Compass, Journal of Youth Studies, and Energy Research & Social Science.


Ph.D. in Sociology, University of Calgary

M.A. in Sociology, Carleton University

B.A. in Criminology and Criminal Justice, Carleton University

Selected Publications

O’Connor, C.D., Fredericks, K., and Kosoralo, K. (2022). People’s perceptions of energy
technologies in an era of rapid transformation. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions. 43: 331-342.

Hill, D., O’Connor, C.D., and Slane, A. (2022). Police use of facial recognition technology: The potential for engaging the public through co-constructed policy-making. International Journal of Police Science & Management. Available at: DOI: 10.1177/14613557221089558

O’Connor, C.D., Ng, J., Hill, D., and Frederick, T. (2022). Police analysts on the job in Canada: Work experiences, data work, and the move towards evidence-based policing. Police Practice & Research. 23(4): 458-472.

O’Connor, C.D., Ng, J., Hill, D., and Frederick, T. (2021). Thinking about police data: Analysts’ perceptions of data quality in Canadian policing. The Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles.

O’Connor, C.D., and Ruddell, R. (2021). After the downturn: Perceptions of crime in the Southeastern Saskatchewan oil patch. The Canadian Geographer. 65(3): 281-291.

O’Connor, C.D. and Zaidi, H. (2021). Communicating with purpose: Image work, social media, and policing. The Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles. 94(3): 333-352.

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

O’Connor, C.D. (2019). Social change, risk, and individualization: Young people’s perceptions of a large-scale oil extraction project. Journal of Youth Studies. 22(2): 273-289.

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.

O’Connor, C.D. (2017). The police on Twitter: Image management, community building, and implications for policing in Canada. Policing and Society. 27(8): 899-912.

O’Connor, C.D. (2015). Classed, raced, and gendered biographies: Young people’s understandings of social structures in a boomtown. Journal of Youth Studies. 18(7): 867-883.