Smith conducts research in medical anthropology, anthropological demography, and political anthropology in sub-Saharan Africa, with a specific focus on Nigeria. His research includes HIV/AIDS, reproductive health and behavior, adolescent sexuality, marriage, kinship, and rural-urban migration, as well as studies of patron-clientism, Pentecostal Christianity, vigilantism, and corruption. He has received funding from the NIH and NSF.
Completed research projects have investigated the influence of migration on family organization and reproductive behavior as people live across rural-urban boundaries. He recently completed the Nigeria component of an NIH-supported, five-country comparative ethnographic study entitled "Love, Marriage, and HIV." Smith also recently completed a study of the ways that Pentecostal Christianity in Nigeria has intersected with the AIDS epidemic. Smith’s work also examines political culture in Nigeria, especially issues related to inequality and development.
Anthropological demography, corruption, HIV/AIDS, Medical anthropology, Migration, Nigeria, Pentecostal Christianity, Political culture, Sub-Saharan Africa