Constructions of fear and security: the importance of place, knowledge, and community

Goodson, James (2006) Constructions of fear and security: the importance of place, knowledge, and community. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Contemporary research on the fear of crime within human geography has been centred on social identity as a reflection of power relations and recognition of endangerment. Although the use of feminist epistemologies similar to this has been adopted in this study, the role of place has often been overlooked. This study contends that the fear of crime is best understood in situ. The purpose of this research is to demonstrate that people's relationship with crime, victimisation and fear of crime is mediated by their affiliation to the local community and their ability to influence their security consciousness through information. It provides a critique of quantitative methods and demonstrates the importance of understanding fear as being embedded in social relations in an everyday context. Whilst highlighting the significance of trust, identity and belonging, this research illustrates the importance of discourses of knowledge influencing people's sense of security. By examining two geographically close, yet socially different areas, influential aspects are exemplified in how fear is socially constructed. This research argues that this social constructionist approach towards fear of crime, although has been mostly ignored in the past, is particularly pertinent in examining how fear and place interact and intersect. This study concludes by demonstrating the importance of community in feeling secure, but additionally provides criticisms of the role of community in crime prevention literature and political thought.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Department of Geography
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:47
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:13

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