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Experience and expression: social and cultural significance in the fear of crime

Jackson, Jonathan ORCID: 0000-0003-2426-2219 (2004) Experience and expression: social and cultural significance in the fear of crime. British Journal of Criminology, 44 (6). pp. 946-966. ISSN 0007-0955

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Identification Number: 10.1093/bjc/azh048


This paper argues that to ignore the social meaning that constitutes public perceptions of crime is to offer a shallow picture of the fear of crime – and survey research need not do either. Examining the symbolic links between community cohesion, disorder and crime, this study suggests that perceptions of risk are explicably situated in individuals’ understandings of the social and physical make-up of their neighbourhood, as well as vulnerability and broader social attitudes and values. Furthermore, an explanation is offered for recent research that suggests the prevalence of fear of crime has been exaggerated. Namely, survey responses may articulate both ‘experienced’ fear—summations of the frequency of emotion—and ‘expressive’ fear, or attitudes regarding the cultural meaning of crime, social change and relations, and conditions conducive to crime.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2004 the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies. This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in The British Journal of Criminology following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version "Jackson, J. Experience and Expression: Social and Cultural Significance in the Fear of Crime. The British Journal of Criminology 44:946-966 (2004)" is available online at: LSE has developed LSE Research Online so that users may access research output of the School. Copyright and Moral Rights for the papers on this site are retained by the individual authors and/or other copyright owners. Users may download and/or print one copy of any article(s) in LSE Research Online to facilitate their private study or for non-commercial research. You may not engage in further distribution of the material or use it for any profit-making activities or any commercial gain. You may freely distribute the URL (<>) of the LSE Research Online website.
Divisions: Methodology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2006
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2023 20:51

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