Sandra Susan Smith

associate professor of sociology

Sandra Susan Smith joined the UC Berkeley sociology faculty in 2004. Her research interests include urban poverty, joblessness, race and ethnicity, social networks and social capital, trust, and culture and social structure. Smith has published a number of articles on these topics in such journals as the American Journal of Sociology, The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, the Annual Review of Sociology, Racial and Ethnic Studies, Social Science Research, and The Sociological Quarterly. In her first book, Lone Pursuit: Distrust and Defensive Individualism among the Black Poor (Russell Sage Foundation), she advances current and enduring debates about black joblessness, highlighting the role of interpersonal distrust dynamics between low-income black jobholders and their job-seeking relations that make cooperation during the process of finding work a problematic affair. In her current project, tentatively titled Logics of Assistance, Smith further interrogates the job-search process from the perspective of the job contact, by examining racial and ethnic differences in trust dynamics and exploring the social psychological, cultural and structural factors that generate these differences.