Chris Herring

Chris Herring

Assistant Professor

Office: 237 Haines Hall


Curriculum Vitae

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Chris’ research focuses on poverty, homelessness, and housing in US cities. His work has been published in the American Sociological ReviewSocial ProblemsCity and CommunityThe Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social SciencesCityTeaching Sociology and book chapters in edited volumes of AnthropologyUrban StudiesSocial MovementsGeography, and Community-Based Research

Chris is currently working on his first book – an ethnography of the criminalization of homelessness in San Francisco to be published with UC Press. He is also working on a study with Professor Sandra Smith of Harvard on the perceptions and experiences of people with criminal records with Ban the Box employment policies.

Chris’ writing has appeared in the Washington PostPlacesCal Matters, the San Francisco Examiner,  Progressive Planning MagazineShelterforce, the Berkeley Journal of Sociology, and homeless street newspapers across the US and Canada. His research has been featured in the LA Times, NY Times, UK Guardian, Bloomberg’s City Lab, NPR, Politico, the San Francisco Chronicle, and several other news outlets.

Chris’ research, writing, and teaching embraces the ideals of public sociology. He has co-directed  studies with community organizers at the National Coalition on Homelessness and San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness. He has also collaborated on research with the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, the Western Regional Advocacy Project, and ACORN. Chris regularly consults with county governments, legal aid groups, and serves as an expert witness on cases involving the criminalization of homelessness.

Before coming to UCLA, Chris completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Harvard’s Inequality in America Initiave, and earned a PhD at UC Berkeley Sociology, an MA in Social Anthropology at Central European University, Budapest and a BA in Economics from Bard College.  He also worked as a Project Manager in New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

For more information and links to published writing please visit his website


Ph.D. Sociology, University of California, Berkeley 2020

M.A. Sociology, University of California, Berkeley, 2013

M.A. Social Anthropology, Central European University, 2010


Journal Articles

Chris Herring. 2021. “Complaint-Oriented ‘Services:’ Shelters as Tools for Criminalizing Homelessness.” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, 693(1), 264-283.

Chris Herring, Dilara Yarbrough, and Lisa Marie Alatorre. 2020. “Pervasive Penality: How the Criminalization of Homelessness Perpetuates Poverty.” Social Problems, 67(1), 131-149.

Chris Herring. 2019. “Complaint-Oriented Policing: Regulating Homelessness in Public Space.” American Sociological Review, 84(5), 769-800*American Society of Criminology Joan Petersilia Outstanding Article Award. 2021.

Chris Herring and Emily Rosenman. 2016. “Engels in the Crescent City: Revisiting the Housing Question in Post-Katrina New Orleans.” ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 15(3), 616-638.

Chris Herring, Manuel Rosaldo, Josh Seim, and Benjamin Shestakovsky. 2016. “Living Theory: Principles and Practices for Teaching Social Theory Ethnographically.” Teaching Sociology, 12(1), 1-12. Chris Herring and Manuel Lutz. 2015. “The Roots and Implications of the United States’ Homeless Tent Cities.” City, 19 (5), 689-701.

Chris Herring. 2014.“The New Logics of Homeless Seclusion: A Comparative Study of Homeless Encampments in the Western United States.” City and Community, 13(4), 285-309.

Book Chapters

Chris Herring. In Press. “Regulating Homeless Encampments.” In D. Culhane, S. Fitzpatrick, G. Johnson, S. Metreaux, and E. O’Sullivan (eds), “Research Handbook on Homelessness.” Edward Elgar Publishing.

Chris Herring. In Press. “Housing Deprivation: Homelessness and the Reproduction of Poverty.” In B. McCabe and E. Rosen (eds), The Sociology of Housing. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Bilal Ali, Lisa Marie Alatorre, Jennifer Friedenbach, Chris Herring, TJ Johnston, and Dilara Yarbrough. 2020. “Fighting Anti-Homeless Laws through Participatory Action Research: Reflections from the San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness’ Criminalization Study.” In S. Greenbaum and P. Zinn (eds), Collaborating for Change: A Participatory Action Research Casebook. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press. *Society of Social Problems, Community Partner Paper Award. 2019.

Chris Herring. 2019. “Between Street and Shelter: Homeless Seclusion and the Neutralization of Poverty.” In J. Flint and R. Powell (eds.) Class, Ethnicity, and State in the Polarized Metropolis: Putting Wacquant to Work. London: Palgrave.

Chris Herring. 2013. “The Housing Question of Disaster Reconstruction: Rebuilding New Orleans on the Tenants of an Ownership Society.” In E. Murphy and N. Hourani (eds.), The Housing Question: Tensions, Continuities, and Contingencies in the Modern City. Ashgate Press.

Zoltan Gluck and Chris Herring. 2012. “The Homeless Question of Occupy.” In Occupy!: Scenes from Occupy America. New York: Verso Press.

Policy Reports

Sandra Smith and Chris Herring. 2022. “The Limits of Ban the Box.” Institute for Labor and Employment Research. University of California, Berkeley. Berkeley.

Adriana Camarena, Stella Kunkat, Jennifer Friedenbach, John Hamanski, Chris Herring, Samantha Lew, Courtney McDonald, Sara Shortt, John Stiefell. 2021. “Compassionate Alternative Response Team (CART): A Community Plan for San Francisco.” San Francisco Coalition to End the Policing of Homelessness. San Francisco.

Chris Herring, Dilara Yarbrough, Jamie Chang, Mark Flemming, Chris Hanssmann, Pike Long, Kelsey Ludwig. 2020. “Stop the Revolving Door: A Street Level Framework for a New System.” Our City Our Home Coalition. San Francisco.

Kamran Abri Lavasani, Haruna Aridomi, Collette Auerswald, Zachary Butzin-Dozier, Brigid Cakouros, Joey Chiang, Brandon Chu, Jack Colford, Hoaian Dang, Sarah Ferrell, Jay Graham, Madeleine Kane, Toshali Katyal, Christine Ma, Dough Martin, Matt Matusieqicz, Sandra McCoy. 2020. “For the Good of Us All: Addressing the Needs of Our Unhoused Neighbors During the Covid-19 Pandemic.” UC Berkeley School of Public Health. Berkeley.

Chris Herring, Dilara Yarborough, Lisa Marie Alattore, and the San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness. 2015. “Punishing the Poorest: How San Francisco’s Criminalization of Homelessness Perpetuates Poverty.” San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness. San Francisco.

Chris Herring. 2010. “Tent Cities in America: A Pacific Coast Report.” National Coalition for the Homeless. Washington DC.

Under Review / In Progress

Chris Herring. Cruel Survival: Policing and Punishing the Unhoused in the American City (Book Manuscript Under Contract with UC Press)

Chris Herring. “Precarious Housing Fixes: The Limits of Homeless Housing Programs in San Francisco.”

Jeff Garnand and Chris Herring. “Public-Private Parasites: How Business Improvement Districts Criminalize Homelessness.”

Sandra Smith and Chris Herring. “Undoing the Mark of a Criminal Record: Ban the Box and the Limits of Fair Chance Employment Policies.”

Awards & Grants

American Society of Criminology’s Joan Petersilia Outstanding Article Award. 2021.

American Sociological Association’s Community and Urban Sociology Student Paper Award, Honorable Mention. 2020.

Society of Social Problems, Community Partner Paper Award. With Dilara Yarbrough and Lisa Marie Alatorre. 2019.

UC Berkeley Sociology Alumni Prize for Public Sociology. 2016.

UC Berkeley Teaching Effectiveness Award. 2015.

UC Berkeley Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award. 2014.


Current Collaborators

Sandra Susan Smith, Harvard University

Jeff Garnand, University of California Berkeley

Past Collaborations

Dilara Yarbrough, San Francisco State University

Tony Sparks, San Francisco State University

Jamie Chang, Santa Clara University

Mark Flemming, University of California Berkeley

Chris Hannsmann, San Francisco State University

Coco Auwerswald, University of California Berkeley

Neil Gong, University of California San Diego

Manuel Lutz, Fachhochschule Potsdam University of Applied Sciences

Emily Rosenman, Penssylvania State University

Josh Seim, Boston College

Ben Shestakovsky, University of Pennsylvania

Manuel Rosaldo, Pennsylvania State University

Zoltan Gluck, American University

Mannissa Marhawal, American University

Erin McElroy, University of Texas Austin

Lisa Bates, Portland State University

Gretchen Purser, Syracuse University

Daniella Aiello, University of Georgia

Movement Based Collaborators

San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness

Our City Our Home

Western Regional Advocacy Project

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project

National Coalition on Homelessness

Lisa Marie Alatorre

Eric Goldfischer

ACORN New Orleans

Graduate Students

– Christopher Giamorino, Urban Planning

– Niamh Costello, Social Work