The Provenance of Fear
London School of Economics & Political Science: Department of Methodology
University of Sheffield
November 1, 2006
Experience & Expression in the Fear of Crime Working Paper No. 2
As a topic of academic research, policy study and public debate, the fear of crime has been with us since the 1960s. This is not to suggest that anxieties about crime had never surfaced prior to this point. Rather, from the 1960s and 1970s we have witnessed a massive growth in the efforts put into understanding and controlling such fears. Where these fears came from, why they emerged at all, and an understanding of the processes associated with their emergence is the topic of this, our second, Working Paper. This article is constructed in the following fashion. In the first part we summarise the development of the fear of crime as a concept and as an object of criminological research. Inevitably this section draws heavily from our previous writings on this subject (most notably Jackson's Images of Crime essay). Following this, in the second, shorter section of our essay, we outline some of the explanations which have been posited for the seemingly inexorable rise of the fear of crime as a topic for and of research. This takes us into uncertain terrain and the pitfalls are numerous; the second part of our essay remains a speculative piece. However the speculation serves as the basis for some intriguing debates about 'where' all of this fear came from, and 'who' or 'what' delivered it to us.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 21
Keywords: Fear of Crime, Politics, Research, Policy, Criminology
JEL Classification: I18, I31, I38working papers series
Date posted: September 6, 2007 ; Last revised: March 8, 2013
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