Scholars have argued that lynching--summary group attack and/or homicide seeking to punish behavior defined as deviant--against individuals often deemed socially distant, typically occurs in conditions of social flux, for example in transitions from homogeneous tribal societies to plural, heterogeneous social orders; in locales where patterns of racial or ethnic dominance have been challenged or collapsed; in settings shifting rapidly from rural to urban social arrangements; in polities where authority has effectively lost legitimacy or where multiple, contradictory legal regimes contend for popular support; amid perceptions of a crisis of legal order brought on by rampant criminality; and in contested or fragile states as opposed to settings where the state is able to, in Weberian terms, successfully claim a monopoly of violence.
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