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Carson Mencken

mencken 7-2012

Professor of Sociology
Sociology Chair
Waco, TX 76798
(254) 710-4863

Curriculum Vitae



F. Carson Mencken is professor of sociology and chair of the sociology department. He received his BS degree summa cum laude from the College of Charleston (SC) in 1987, and his Ph.D. from Louisiana State University in 1994. His areas of research expertise include civic engagement, religiosity, and research methods. Recently, with Dr. Charles Tolbert he has been examining the impact of changes in the banking industry on the availability of capital for local businesses and entrepreneurs in rural America. This research has been funded by two competitive grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He has authored over 40 professional publications. He has received competitive grant funding for his research from such sources as the Tennessee Valley Authority, the United States Department of the Interior, the United States Department of Justice, and the John Templeton Foundation.

He and his family are actively involved with the Dayspring Baptist Church of Waco.


Recent Publications:

Forthcoming: Henderson, W. Matthew, F. Carson Mencken and Brittany Fitz. “J Social Embeddedness, and Social Trust Among the Highly Religious in the United States.” Journal of Contemporary Religion.

Paranormal America: Ghost encounters, UFO sightings, Bigfoot hunts and other Curiosities in Religion and Culture with Christopher Bader and Joseph Baker*, NYU Press. 2nd edition forthcoming 2017.

2016 with Charles Tolbert, “Restructuring of the Financial Industry and Implications for Sources of Start-Up Capital for New Businesses in Nonmetropolitan Counties.” Journal of Rural Social Science 31(1):71-82.

2015   “American Civic Community over Space and Time” (w/ Charles Tolbert, Troy Blanchard and Jiang Li)  Reclaiming Space: New Middle Range Theory in Spatial Demography.  F. Howell and J. Porter (eds) Springer Press. Chapter 12: 235-252.

2014  “Traditional and Alternative Financial Institutions in Rural America: 1976-2007” with C. Tolbert Jing Li and L. Riggs. Rural Sociology. 79: 355-379.

2014 "College Graduates, Local Retailers, and Community Belonging in the United States” with Sam Stroope*, Charles Tolbert, and Aaron Franzen* Sociological Spectrum 34: 143-162

2013. F. Carson Mencken and Brittany Fitz. "Image of God and Community Volunteering among Religious Adherents in the United States." Review of Religious Research. 55:491-508.

2013 "Small Business Concentration and Diabetes Prevalence among U.S. Counties: A Spatial Error Analysis." With T. Blanchard, C. Tolbert, J. Li at Public Health.

2013 with Jexia Zhai "Risk Aversion, Shortage Economy and Gender Differences in Religious Activities in China." Sociological Focus 48: 106-118.