Tag Archives | Violence

Making Friends in Violent Neighborhoods: Strategies among Elementary School Children

Anjanette M. Chan Tack, Mario L. Small

Sociological Science, March 15, 2017
DOI 10.15195/v4.a10

While many studies have examined friendship formation among children in conventional contexts, comparatively fewer have examined how the process is shaped by neighborhood violence. The literature on violence and gangs has identified coping strategies that likely affect friendships, but most children in violent neighborhoods are not gang members, and not all friendship relations involve gangs. We examine the friendship-formation process based on in-depth interviews with 72 students, parents, and teachers in two elementary schools in violent Chicago neighborhoods. All students were African American boys and girls ages 11 to 15. We find that while conventional studies depict friendship formation among children as largely affective in nature, the process among the students we observed was, instead, primarily strategic. The children’s strategies were not singular but heterogeneous and malleable in nature. We identify and document five distinct strategies: protection seeking, avoidance, testing, cultivating questioners, and kin reliance. Girls were as affected as boys were, and they also reported additional preoccupations associated with sexual violence. We discuss implications for theories of friendship formation, violence, and neighborhood effects.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Anjanette M. Chan Tack: Department of Sociology, University of Chicago
Email: amc75@uchicago.edu

Mario L. Small: Department of Sociology, Harvard University
Email: mariosmall@fas.harvard.edu

Acknowledgements: This research was supported by the MacArthur Foundation, the University of Chicago, the National Opinion Research Center, and Harvard University. We thank Karen Davis and Lara Perez-Felkner for fieldwork, interview work, and other research assistance instrumental to this project and David Harding for comments and criticisms. Direct correspondence to Mario L. Small, 33 Kirkland St, Department of Sociology, Cambridge, MA 02138 or mariosmall@fas.harvard.edu.

  • Citation: Chan Tack, Anjanette M., and Mario L. Small. 2017. “Making Friends in Violent Neighborhoods: Strategies among Elementary School Children.” Sociological Science 4: 224-248.
  • Received: January 12, 2017
  • Accepted: February 8, 2017
  • Editors: Jesper B. Sørensen, Gabriel Rossman
  • DOI: 10.15195/v4.a10
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The Course of Law: State Intervention in Southern Lynch Mob Violence 1882–1930

Kinga Makovi, Ryan Hagen, Peter Bearman

Sociological Science, September 26, 2016
DOI 10.15195/v3.a37

Collective violence when framed by its perpetrators as “citizen” justice is inherently a challenge to state legitimacy. To properly account for such violence, it is necessary to consider an opportunity structure incorporating the actions of both vigilantes and agents of the state. The motivation and lethality of lynch mobs in the South cannot be understood without considering how the state reacted to the legitimacy challenges posed by lynching. We trace the shifting orientation of state agents to lynching attempts between the end of Reconstruction and the start of the Great Depression. Analyzing an inventory of more than 1,000 averted and completed lynching events in three Southern states, we model geographic and temporal patterns in the determinants of mob formation, state intervention, and intervention success. Opponents of lynching often pled with mobs to “let the law take its course.” This article examines the course followed by the law itself, as state actors moved between encouraging, accommodating, and in many instances averting mob violence.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Kinga Makovi: Department of Sociology, Columbia University
Email: km2730@columbia.edu

Ryan Hagen: Department of Sociology, Columbia University
Email: rah2168@columbia.edu

Peter Bearman: INCITE, Columbia University
Email: psb17@columbia.edu

Acknowledgements: The authors thank Nathan Nunn, Eric Foner, Karen Barkey, Charles Seguin, Christopher Muller, members of the Organizations Workshop at the University of Chicago, and the XS workshop at Columbia University for their helpful comments.

  • Citation: Makovi, Kinga, Ryan Hagen and Peter Bearman. 2016. “The Course of Law: State Intervention in Southern Lynch Mob Violence 1882–1930.” Sociological Science 3: 860-888.
  • Received: June 23, 2016
  • Accepted: July 15, 2016
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Sarah Soule
  • DOI: 10.15195/v3.a37
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