Crime, neighborhood perceptions, and the underclass: The relationship between fear of crime and class position (2023)

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Article preview Journal of Criminal Justice Abstract References (38) Fear of crime and victimization among the elderly in different types of communities Criminology Sex codes and family life among poor inner city youths The influence of crime, gender, and southern culture on carrying firearms for protection The Sociological Quarterly Testing a general model of fear of crime: Data from a national sample Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency The structure of social stratification in the United States The economic emergence of women Neighborhoods and crime: The dimensions of effective community control Fear of crime in the United States: A multivariate analysis Social Forces Fear of crime among the aged The Gerontologist The mainstream and the underclass: Why are the differences so salient and the similarities so unobtrusive? Fear of crime and handgun ownership Criminology Victimization and fear of crime Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency Fear and reactions to crime: A revised model Urban Affairs Quarterly Culture, rationality and the underclass The poverty of classless criminology - The American Society of Criminology 1991 presidential address Criminology The perception and fear of crime: Implications for neighborhood cohesion, social activity and community affect Social Forces Is the American underclass growing? Cited by (101) Does Location Matter? Fear of Crime and its Determinants in Disadvantaged and More Affluent Neighborhoods in Czechia Residential stability and fear of crime: Examining the impact of homeownership and length of residence on citizens’ fear of crime Recommended articles (6)
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Journal of Criminal Justice

Volume 23, Issue 2,

1995

, Pages 163-176

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Abstract

Fear of crime and the underclass represent two of the more prominent topics of discussion within the realms of criminology and sociology over the past several decades. There is little research, however, tying these topics together. Recently, a call has been reissued for the further understanding of the relationship between crime and class. Such an examination is essential to the understanding of fear of crime as well. In this article, an attempt is made to meld the two seemingly divergent areas of fear of crime and the underclass in order to develop a more thorough understanding of neighborhood fear. With the use of secondary data, the extent to which this underclass offers a useful model for analysis of neighborhood issues is investigated. In particular crime, fear, and perceptions of victimization among members of the underclass are examined.

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  • Cited by (101)

    • Safety perceptions among African migrants in Guangzhou and Foshan, China

      2020, Cities

      Safety perceptions have received considerable attention in criminology and geography, yet few studies have looked into international migrants to developing countries. This study proposes a conceptual framework to account for migrant-specific characteristics and examines this framework with a sample of African migrants in Guangzhou and Foshan, China. Results from multilevel ordered logistic regression show that predictors of their perceptions of property safety and personal safety are different. Consistent with literature, their satisfaction with income in China, family support, and prior victimization experience strongly predict migrants' sense of security. Besides, we further find that perceived discrimination, indicative of migrants' acculturation process, decrease their sense of safety, and passport-check experience, indicative of migrants' relationship with local police, significantly lowers their personal safety perception. Migrants from countries with worse security conditions perceive a higher personal safety in China. Social trust, especially migrants' trust in Chinese businessmen and religious fellows are also associated with their security perception. The effect of geography is also examined but no substantial variation in safety perceptions is observed among four Diasporas. Findings of this study provide insight that may help reevaluate policies affecting daily life of African migrants and their perception of safety.

    • Transforming vacant lots: Investigating an alternative approach to reducing fear of crime

      2017, Journal of Environmental Psychology

      Citation Excerpt :

      This may be because crime is more prevalent in urban areas than it is in other places. Many studies have also reported that those who have the highest levels of fear of crime are minority individuals and those of low socioeconomic status (Bennett & Flavin, 1994; Parker & Ray, 1990; Will & McGrath, 1995). An individual's socioeconomic status has been assessed in a number of ways and traditionally include measures of income, educational status and wealth.

      This preliminary study considers whether incorporating fundamental standards of Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) into traditional urban greening practices of vacant lots might provide added value with regard to fear of crime. An experiment (N=523) was conducted using a sample of undergraduate students. Participants were asked to report their level of fear of crime in regard to one of three randomly assigned computer-adjusted images: 1) A disorderly lot; 2) A traditional greened lot; and 3) A CPTED lot. Using ordinary least squares regression, this study found that, on average, participants who viewed a CPTED lot had statistically (p<0.05) lower levels of fear of crime than participants who viewed either the disorderly or greened lot conditions. The results of this study are promising, yet preliminary. Future research on this topic should focus on ways to increase external validity, identify underlying mechanisms and develop more sophisticated techniques to simulate lot conditions.

    • Exploring the effects of CCTV upon fear of crime: A multi-level approach in Seoul

      2017, International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice

      Citation Excerpt :

      The former applies to people who would find it difficult to defend themselves against crime, for example, women and the elderly (Clemente and Kleiman, 1977). The latter applies to people who are more susceptible to crime victimization due to their socio-economic difficulties, such as low levels of income or education (Will and McGrath, 1995). Concerning factors of physical vulnerability, studies are nearly consistent in their conclusions that women have a greater fear of crime compared with men (Braungart and Hoyer, 1980; Clemente and Kleiman, 1977; Skogan and Maxfield, 1981; Park and Lee, 2010; Roh and Cho, 2014).

      We examined the effects of CCTV upon fear of crime through a multi-level analysis, using the Seoul Survey. We examined factors such as the number of CCTV cameras, crime rates, and disorder according to community and resident demographics. The results showed that the number of CCTV cameras was negatively associated with the fear of crime, but no significant effect was observed on the perceived risk of crime. In addition, the effects of CCTV differed by gender. The number of CCTV cameras was found to affect men's fear of crime but not women's fear of crime. Crime rates and disorder as regional-level factors were found to increase both fear of crime and the perceived risk of crime. The current findings emphasize the importance of scientific and systematic installation of CCTV cameras, active responses from police and related organizations to reduce crime and disorder, and the establishment of additional security measures for females.

    • Perceived security of women in relation to their path choice toward sustainable neighborhood in Santiago, Chile

      2017, Cities

      Citation Excerpt :

      Theory of social vulnerability states that one who belongs to an especial social group such as low income neighborhoods, will perceive the security less than the people in other groups because of high possibility in confronting a criminal attack and lack of financial ability to restore from negative effects of such an experience (Bissler, 2003). Evidence of this theory has been found in the studies which reported that sources of vulnerability and different levels of fear of crime and perceived insecurity appeared in the social groups, differentiated by specific/certain levels of education, income, occupation, and unemployment (Covington & Taylor, 1991; Will & McGrath, 1995). Social network theory focuses on information flows between persons (Bissler, 2003; Hale, 1996).

      The fear of crime and perceptions of insecurity are among the most important issues with regard to a sustainability framework, relative to crime itself, in cities with low crime rates. Santiago in Chile is a city with a moderate to low rate of crime as compared to the average amount of crime in the cities around the world, but the fear of crime and perceptions of insecurity greatly concern the residents of this city. Therefore, in general, studying Santiago residents' perceived insecurity seems to be more important than considering actual urban insecurity and its aspects in regard to achieving a more comprehensive sustainability framework for this city. Regardless of the influence of individual and social factors on perceived insecurity, the design of the built environment plays an important role in enhancing perceptions of security. In addition, women have been found to be more fearful of crime and their perceived insecurity is recognized as being a serious problem for their walking patterns in the residential neighborhoods of Santiago. On this basis, and due to the importance of the design of the built environment for generating the fear of crime and perceived insecurity, this study focuses on design elements that are related to the perceived security/insecurity of women. By studying the typology of neighborhoods based on their inclusive houses and a selection of neighborhoods with apartment blocks, the three residential neighborhoods of Villa Frei, Villa Olimpica, and Villa Portales were selected for this study. To consider the influence of environmental factors on perceived security/insecurity, the routes traversed daily by the residents were identified using 3D maps. A survey questionnaire was used to measure women's perceived sense of security/insecurity, and to learn how these attitudes influenced their daily walking patterns. The qualitative data was analyzed through context analysis, and the quantitative data was analyzed using an ordered logistic regression. Although respondents mostly declared that their neighborhood is somewhat secure, they agreed that their feeling of insecurity influences the path they choose in their daily walking activities. This finding shows the importance of women's perceived insecurity or low perceived security for their daily walking patterns. The results of the open-ended questions show that the “presence of others”, in terms of stationary and dynamic surveillance, “proximity to shops, schools and parks”, “open spaces”, and “presence of familiar people”, emerged as the most important factors for enhancing women's sense of security. Moreover, findings from ordered regression analysis indicate that among the different dimensions of built environmental factors, evidence of vitality through the arrangement of furniture, surveillance, signs of disorder and vegetation were the strongest determinant of women's perceived security. These findings indicate the need to address the perceived security/insecurity of women in residential neighborhoods as the most important policy for improving the sustainability framework, and leading to the creation of sustainable neighborhoods in Santiago, Chile.

    View all citing articles on Scopus

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    Copyright © 1995 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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