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Usefulness to Criminology of the Concept of Fear of Crime - Coursework Example

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The paper "Usefulness to Criminology of the Concept of Fear of Crime" states that in general, a concept 'fear of crime' was invented via new technologies of enumerating crime that developed in the 1960s; most notably the victim or crime survey (Stanko 2000)…
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Usefulness to Criminology of the Concept of Fear of Crime
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Download file to see previous pages As Skogan (1976, p. 14) succinctly put it more than 30 years ago, it is '…a difficult psychological construct affected by a number of aspects of urban life. It is perhaps a shame that Skogans very fuzzy definition of crime fear has not endured for it captures the very amorphous nature of crime fear; something that is lost through the process of quantification.
Lupton (1999) argues that fear of crime is by nature and was by definition – at least in Skogans terms – subjective. It is an experience, or set of experiences, that are intensely individual – that is if we accept a techno-scientific account that such a coherent thing even exists (Anthony & Cunneen 2008, p. 72). While most natural and materially occurring objects can be counted and described, even if the categories by which, we order or taxonomies these are largely arbitrarily constructed (Foucault 1970), and many social scientific targets of knowledge clearly categorized and delineated – for example, we can statistically count an assault offence through a detailed police or victim account of the offence even while the accuracy of these accounts and levels of reportage might vary – fear of crime is both a conceptually poor construct (Ditton and Farrall 2000) and a subjectively diverse set of experiences (Jackson 2004). It is not something that exists out there in the social world, as, some kind of Durkheimian social fact like crime or suicide. As Jackson (2004, p. 962) has put it, fear of crime has come:
"… to name and classify in a nebulous form a range of perceptions, responses and vulnerabilities. Expressing or associating concerns about broader social issues that crime connects with the public consciousness".
In this very sense, it exists as an organizing principle in the minds of statisticians, social scientists, criminologists, policymakers and politicians – and even cannot agree on what that something is.
We created the concept 'fear of crime' then decided to argue about whether it might be a decent organizing principal for a body of social scientific knowledge, or not. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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