Crime and Punishment Workshop

Amy Kate Bailey, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Population Research, Practicing What They Preach? Lynching and Religion in the American South, 1890 - 1929

Wed, 02/17/2010
RSVP requested
Event Category: 
By Invitation Only

The Crime and Punishment workshop draws together an interdisciplinary group of scholars -- from sociology, political science, psychology, philosophy, and law -- to discuss a range of topics related to crime, delinquency, social control, and the philosophy and politics of punishment. Participants meet approximately four times per semester (roughly once a month) for dinner and discussion. Meetings will alternate in format, including a mixture of internal faculty presentations, "mini-presentations" by graduate students and others working through preliminary research ideas, lectures by visiting faculty, and discussions of recent published research.  Regular membership encouraged.

The session on February 17 will feature Amy Kate Bailey, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Office of Population Research at Princeton University, to discuss "Practicing What They Preach? Lynching and Religion in the American South, 1890 - 1929"

Abstract:  This project explores two theoretical perspectives regarding the relationship between organized religion and lynching in the American South. We ask whether a county's religious composition impacted its rate of lynching, net of demographic and economic controls, and find that communities with greater religious diversity experienced more lynching, supporting the notion that a pluralistic religious marketplace with competing religions weakened the bonds of moral community. We also find a lower incidence of lynching in counties where a larger share of church members belonged to denominations with non-southern headquarters or to racially mixed denominations, suggesting that in the Jim Crow South, religious allegiances had fused with regional and racial identities.

If you would like to be included, e-mail Devah Pager at  Also mention in your e-mail if you are interested in presenting preliminary or polished work during the semester.