Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


Religious Studies

First Advisor's Name

Christine Gudorf

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Lesley Northup

Third Advisor's Name

Steven Heine

Fourth Advisor's Name

Deborah Dash Moore

Fifth Advisor's Name

Alex Stepick

Date of Defense



This thesis traces the mechanisms and sources responsible for the generation of civic social capital (a set of shared norms and values that promote cooperation between groups, enabling them to participate in the political process) by black churches in West Perrine, Florida. Data for this thesis includes over fifty interviews and participant observations, archival records, newspaper articles, and scholarly journals.

Despite the institutional racism of the first half of the twentieth century, many blacks and whites in Perrine developed levels of trust significant enough to form an integrated local governing body, evidence of high levels of csc. At mid-century, when black and white interactions ceased, Perrine's csc decreased, leading to the deterioration of Perrine's social and physical conditions. Perrine's csc increased in the1980s by way of broad-based coalitions as Perrine's churches invested their csc in an effort to eradicate crime, clean up its neighborhood, and win back its youth.





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