Identifier

etd-07092016-220939

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Sociology

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

The extant literature on fear of crime has relied almost entirely upon quantitative data and was criticized as atheoretical due to its focus on the demographic characteristics associated with vulnerability. Emerging qualitative research on fear of crime has begun to overcome this limitation by drawing upon an intersectional lens, but quantitative assessments have yet to fully incorporate this theoretical development. The current study addresses this limitation by analyzing qualitative data collected through semi-structured interviews and quantitative data collected as part of a large-scale survey. The primary goal of this dissertation is to take an intersectional approach to understand the relationships between gender, race, class, as well as other social identities in relation to fear in order to develop a more meaningful explanation of fear of crime, examine who and what is feared, and where and when people are most fearful of crime in addition to the reasons why. The qualitative component of the data analysis fosters a deeper understanding of how African American residents living in a high crime southern city cope, construct and react to fear of crime and how many social structures work simultaneously to generate fear. The key findings of this portion of the dissertation indicate that the overwhelming majority of residents do not report feeling afraid. Instead, both men and women use mental maps of specific spaces and people in those spaces to identify some areas as dangers and others as safe. Additionally religion linked with intersecting individual factors, played an enormous role in residents’ fear of crime responses. The quantitative component of the analyses assesses many of the same issues as the qualitative chapter, but at a broader level. The data set analyzed in this chapter was collected as part of the annual Baton Rouge Social Survey (BRSS). The key findings of these analyses reveal that examining two and three way interactions of individual characteristics provides a better explanation of those who are actually afraid of crime and of those who are not. Together this mixed methods approach reveals that not all individuals with characteristics associated with higher fear of crime are actually afraid of crime.

Date

2016

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Secure the entire work for patent and/or proprietary purposes for a period of one year. Student has submitted appropriate documentation which states: During this period the copyright owner also agrees not to exercise her/his ownership rights, including public use in works, without prior authorization from LSU. At the end of the one year period, either we or LSU may request an automatic extension for one additional year. At the end of the one year secure period (or its extension, if such is requested), the work will be released for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Barton, Michael

Included in

Sociology Commons

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