The Salem Witch Craze: A Case Study in the Sociology of Fear

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Why did the Salem witch craze happen when and where it did? What social and historical factors contributed to the panic?  What does the Salem witch craze tell us about the role of fear in society, and how might the misfortunes of a 17th century New England settlement help us understand contemporary American society?  Dr. Peter Hennen, Associate Professor of Sociology at Ohio State Newark, will explore these and other questions about the fear that overtook Salem, Massachusetts 325 years ago this year. 

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