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The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture

The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture: Volume 19: Violence

Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 320
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  • Book Info
    The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture
    Book Description:

    Much of the violence that has been associated with the United States has had particular salience for the South, from its high homicide rates, or its bloody history of racial conflict, to southerners' popular attachment to guns and traditional support for capital punishment. With over 95 entries, this volume ofThe New Encyclopedia of Southern Cultureexplores the most significant forms and many of the most harrowing incidences of violence that have plagued southern society over the past 300 years.Following a detailed overview by editor Amy Wood, the volume explores a wide range of topics, such as violence against and among American Indians, labor violence, arson, violence and memory, suicide, and anti-abortion violence. Taken together, these entries broaden our understanding of what has driven southerners of various classes and various ethnicities to commit acts of violence, while addressing the ways in which southerners have conceptualized that violence, responded to it, or resisted it. This volume enriches our understanding of the culture of violence and its impact on ideas about law and crime, about historical tradition and social change, and about race and gender--not only in the South but in the nation as a whole.

    eISBN: 978-1-4696-0261-5
    Subjects: Sociology, History
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Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents (pp. ix-x)
  3. GENERAL INTRODUCTION (pp. xi-xvi)

    In 1989 years of planning and hard work came to fruition when the University of North Carolina Press joined the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi to publish theEncyclopedia of Southern Culture. While all those involved in writing, reviewing, editing, and producing the volume believed it would be received as a vital contribution to our understanding of the American South, no one could have anticipated fully the widespread acclaim it would receive from reviewers and other commentators. But theEncyclopediawas indeed celebrated, not only by scholars but also by popular audiences with...

  4. INTRODUCTION (pp. xvii-xx)

    Commentators on the American South often mention violence as a defining feature of the region, sometimes paired with a contrasting cultural trait, as in violence and religion, violence and manners, and violence and hospitality. The old saying was that a southerner would be polite to you up to the point of shooting you. Writer Willie Morris used to say you could not go wrong in talking about southern culture by using the word “juxtaposition,” and violence and its seeming opposites in the South are good examples. From the colonial era, travelers to the region claimed that its people had a...


    Over the past 400 years, violence of all sorts has bloodied the southern landscape: from the whipping and torture of slaves to slave revolts, from gentlemen’s duels to backwoods feuding, from the brutal backlash against Reconstruction in the 1860s to the massive resistance against civil rights protests in the 1960s. Murder rates in southern states have long exceeded those in other states, and southerners, both black and white, have historically been more disposed than other Americans to step outside the law to settle personal grievances. Even today, southerners are more likely to own and use guns, to favor a strong...

  6. INDEX OF CONTRIBUTORS (pp. 281-282)
  7. INDEX (pp. 283-299)