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E. M. Beck

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Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus

E.M. BECK is Professor of Emeritus of Sociology and Josiah Meigs Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Georgia. His research focuses on the political economy of racial violence, in particular the relationship between economic change in the American South and violence against blacks. He has authored over 60 papers published in sociological and social science journals, and is co-author of A Festival of Violence: An Analysis of Southern Lynchings 1882-1930, a winner of the Social Science History Association President’s Book Award and other awards. He spent over four years compiling an inventory of threatened, failed, and averted lynchings; presently he is investigating factors influencing whether local authorities intervened to stop mob violence.

  • Ph.D., Sociology, University of Tennessee, 1972
  • M.A., Sociology, University of Tenessee, 1969
  • B.A., American History, University of Alabama, 1968
Selected Publications:
  • E.M. Beck, Stewart E. Tolnay, and Amy K. Bailey. 2016. “Contested Terrain: The State vs. Threatened Lynch Mob Violence”, American Journal of Sociology 122 (6, May): 1856--84
  • E.M. Beck. 2015, “Judge Lynch Denied: Combating Mob Violence in the American South, 1877-1950”, Southern Cultures 21 (2, Summer): 117-139 Amy K. Bailey, Stewart E. Tolnay
  • E.M. Beck, Jennifer D. Laird. 2011. “Targeting Lynch Victims: Social Marginality or Status Transgressions?”. American Sociological Review. 76 (3): 412-436
  • E.M. Beck. 2000. “Guess Who’s Coming to Town: White Supremacy, Ethnic Competition and Social Change”. Sociological Focus 33 (May): 153-174
  • Stewart E. Tolnay and E.M. Beck. 1992. “Racial Violence and Black Migration in the South, 1910 to 1930.” American Sociological Review 57 (February): 103-116
  • E.M. Beck and Stewart E. Tolnay. 1990. “The Killing Fields of the Deep South: The Market for Cotton and the Lynching of Blacks, 1882-1930.” American Sociological Review 55 (August): 526-539
Of Note:
  • 2006. Distinguished Lectureship Award, Southern Sociological Society.
  • 2005. Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor, University of Georgia.
  • 1999. Recipient of the William A. Owens Creative Research Award, University of Georgia.
  • 1996. Winner of the Mid-South Sociological Association's Best Book Award for A Festival of Violence: An Analysis of Southern Lynchings, 1882-1930.
  • 1992. Winner of the Social Science History Association President's Book Award for A Festival of Violence: An Analysis of Southern Lynchings, 1882-1930.