Klan Violence and Criminal Violence in Union County, South Carolina

Saturday, January 8, 2011: 12:10 PM
Room 303 (Hynes Convention Center)
Elaine Frantz Parsons , Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA
I will discuss my work-in-progress on the relationship of Klan violence to the larger criminal subculture in Union County, South Carolina. I will show how I am using Pajek software both to generate information about the location and network qualities of specific Klan participants and victims within the criminal network, and to describe the changes in the patterns in the network as a whole from 1852, when my data begins, through the Klan period of 1868-1871, to 1878, when my data ends. My data includes all personal information in the roughly 3,200 criminal indictments made in the county during this period. These indictments include the name(s) of the accused, of accusers, of bondsmen and of witnesses. The relational data in these indictments reveals a detailed map of the violent relationships in the county for many years before the emergence of the Klan. I am using SNA in two ways in this project. First, I use ego-centered analysis to  argue that Klan violence was a continuation and intensification of existing patterns of criminal violence, indirectly but concretely supported by local democratic white elites, rather than a distinct strain of violence by politically-motivated new offenders. Second, I evaluate the qualities of the network as a whole and describe the ways in which this period of intensified violence impacted, in the long term, the social organization of Union county, most notably by reversing the formation of a postwar separate black subculture with its own system of patronage.