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NCJ Number: 204617 Find in a Library
Title: Beyond Community: Reactions to Crime and Disorder Among Inner-City Residents
Journal: Criminology  Volume:41  Issue:3  Dated:August 2003  Pages:779-812
Author(s): Irene Carvalho; Dan A. Lewis
Editor(s): Robert J. Bursik Jr.
Date Published: August 2003
Page Count: 34
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study, which is a part of the Illinois Families Study (IFS), examined the absence of fear in communities where crime and related problems are prevalent and the processes behind reactions to crime for urban welfare recipients.
Abstract: Little is known or understood about the absence of fear, especially when crime and related problems are prevalent, as well as the processes behind reactions to crime. In order to better understand reactions to crime, the study focused on urban welfare recipients, a group composed mostly of poor minorities and women, who are usually considered quite fearful. The attempt was to provide an understanding of how fear of crime influenced compliance with welfare requirements to work. The study was part of a broader project called the Illinois Families Study (IFS), which followed the same families of welfare recipients over a 6-year period. The IFS attempts to gain knowledge on welfare recipients’ workforce attachment, barriers to employment, neighborhood conditions, and economic status, as well as other aspects. Field observations and in-depth interviews were used in Chicago to situate fear of crime within the contexts of everyday life of welfare recipients and to inspect the ways in which they experience crime and related problems. From the interviews, two reactions emerged: a reaction of safety or no fear and other reactions which included anger, revolt, or irritation. Study results indicate that crime and incivilities do not always raise fear, even in inner-city, high-disorder communities. Fear is not always of crime. In this study, a sense of safety, not fear, was the prevalent reaction to neighborhood disorder/crime. With this sense of safety, crime/incivilities were not central to individual life, rather secondary. This analysis suggests that, in general, local crime/disorder may not constitute severe impediments to employment, as respondents do not seem to be “prisoners” of their homes, just taking precautions. The processes underlying these reactions are presented and discussed. References
Main Term(s): Reactions to crime
Index Term(s): Citizen reactions to crime; Fear of crime; Ghettos; Public Opinion of Crime; Urban area studies; Urban criminality
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