Carson Mencken

Carson Mencken
Professor of Sociology
Chair of Sociology
High Res Photo


Ph.D. Sociology, Louisiana State University, 1994
M.A. Sociology, Louisiana State University, 1989
B.S. Sociology, College of Charleston, 1987


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

F. Carson Mencken, Christopher Bader and Ed Day. 2021. “Fear of Crime on Community Engagement: Nonadditive and Nonlinear Effects by Gender.” The Sociological Quarterly. 63(2), pgs. 379-399.

Carpenter, Craig Wesley, F. Carson Mencken, Charles Tolbert, and Michael Lotspeich. 2020. “Locally Owned Bank Concentration and New Business Start-Ups in Metropolitan, Micropolitan and Non-Core Rural Counties from 1970-2010.” The Review of Regional Studies, 50(1), pgs. 17-42.

F. Carson Mencken, Bethany Smith, Charles M. Tolbert. 2020. “Self Employment and Civic Inclination” Sociological Perspectives. 63(5), pgs. 719-737.

F. Carson Mencken & Kimberly D. Mencken. 2020. “Small Business Lending and Socioeconomic Development in U.S. Counties during the Great Recession.” Journal of Rural and Community Development 15(4), pgs. 81-99.


Paranormal America: Ghost encounters, UFO sightings, Bigfoot hunts and other Curiosities in Religion and Culture. 2nd Edition ( w/ Christopher Bader and Joseph Baker). 2017. New York University Press. ISBN: 978-1-4798-1965-2 (hardback) ISBN: 978-1-4798-1528-9 (paperback). (311 Pages)

Dr. Mencken's Full Curriculum Vitae.

Department of Sociology

Tidwell Building
One Bear Place #97326
Waco, TX 76798-7326

(254) 710-1165