Dr. Shannon E. Reid is a specialist on youth criminality and violence, especially as it pertains to gangs, including far and alt-right gangs. She has written extensively on the intersection of traditional gang research and youth oriented far right groups/gangs. She has focused extensively on youth dynamics that lead to violence and criminality both on and offline. Since violence and criminality is heavily skewed toward youth and young adults, focusing on this age range is particularly valuable as increases in far-right violence continues. This includes examining the social networks of delinquent and gang involved youth (in detention facilities, real-world, and online), risk and protective factors for membership in these groups/ gangs, and the impact of trauma and trauma informed care on prevention and intervention efforts. Much of her work, including the book Alt-Right Gangs: A Hazy Shade of White (University of California Press, 2020), focuses on reframing how researchers, policy makers, and politicians frame youth involvement in gangs and groups with far-right imagery, ideology, and self-identification. This work is critical in order to develop research-based prevention, intervention, and suppression efforts for youth involved in the far-right. Her current work has extended previous youth studies to include gang transmission into adult prisons, focusing on groups like the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas and Aryan Circle, and the movement of members (and their violence) from street to facility and back.
An important portion of Dr. Reid’s research is interdisciplinary, working with researchers in computer science and engineering to leverage the skill sets that both groups bring to the research. This means that her work reflects the most state-of-the-art technology, while providing non-subject matter researchers with a strong theoretical grounding. This work has allowed for the exploration of online echo chambers, pathways to polarization and radicalization, and entitativity as they pertain to the far-right. The goal of these research areas is to better understand how individual interact with other individuals and groups across online platforms on their pathway toward or away from radicalization. Part of this research is also focused on examining risk factors for individuals and groups moving their behavior from online spaces to real world spaces, and vice versa. This includes the process of myth making online and the dissemination of these narratives that is used for recruitment and reputational purposes.
Reid received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine in Criminology, Law and Society in 2013. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department Criminal Justice and Criminology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Dr. Reid is also affiliated faculty with the School of Data Science. Her work has been featured in a range of outlets including interviews with National Public Radio, Wired, the74 million, Daily Beast, and various local news outlets (both live and pre-recorded). She has also provided Op-Eds for The Guardian, The Washington Post, and The Conversation.
Available for consultation in the following areas:
Legal consultancy / expert witness reports and testimony; policy formation / reports; government consultancy/ charity engagement; live or pre-recorded / live or pre-recorded media interviews (including print, online, radio and television); and editorials/ Op-Eds