Irene Carvalho earned her Ph.D. from Northwestern University, where she has held a position as Research Fellow in the Institute for Policy Research. Her recent research focuses on fear of crime among populations living in high-crime, urban areas. Her interests include aspects of deviance such as crime and drug addiction, and sources and processes of social unease.
BEYOND COMMUNITY: REACTIONS TO CRIME AND DISORDER AMONG INNER-CITY RESIDENTS
Article first published online: 7 MAR 2006
Volume 41, Issue 3, pages 779–812, August 2003
How to Cite
CARVALHO, I. and LEWIS, D. A. (2003), BEYOND COMMUNITY: REACTIONS TO CRIME AND DISORDER AMONG INNER-CITY RESIDENTS. Criminology, 41: 779–812. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-9125.2003.tb01004.x
Dan A. Lewis is Professor of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. His research interests include sociological analysis of social problems such as crime and mental illness, with a special emphasis on the importance of social and political theory in policy development. His works include Fear of Crime: Incivility and the Production of a Social Problem (1986); Worlds of the Mentally Ill (1991); and Race and Educational Reform in the American Metropolis (1995). He is currently directing the University Consortium on Welfare Reform project, studying welfare reform in the state of Illinois for the next three years for the Illinois General Assembly.
- Issue published online: 7 MAR 2006
- Article first published online: 7 MAR 2006
- Fear of crime;
- urban neighborhoods;
- inner-city residents;
- welfare recipients;
- and crime;
- and incivilities
Research on fear of crime has been primarily quantitative, focused mostly on “fear,”“crime,” and “disorder.” Little work has investigated alternative reactions, including “safety,” when crime/disorder are prevalent. With the purpose of exploring reactions to crime and underlying processes, this study applies a grounded theory approach to in-depth interviews and field observations with a group of 69 disadvantaged urban residents, randomly selected from a sample of Chicago welfare recipients. Results suggest that fear, absent in neighborhoods with incivilities and in many violent areas, is not the prevalent response to local crime/disorder; “cues” other than crime/disorder trigger fears; fear may not be of crime/disorder; and neighborhood problems elicit precautions, which neither influence fear nor “paralyze” respondents. The processes underlying these reactions are discussed.