At the Intersection of Urban Sociology and Criminology: Fear Of Crime and the Postindustrial City


  • Terressa A. Benz

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    1. Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Idaho
    • Correspondence to: Terressa A. Benz, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Idaho, 875 Perimeter Dr, MS 1110, Moscow, ID 83844, USA. E-mail:

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This essay examines the intersections between urban sociology and criminology in relation to fear of crime. I argue that there is a disconnect between theory and practice when it comes to reducing fear of crime that needs to be resolved in order for the postindustrial city to attract the new middle-class demographic that is known for embracing and seeking out diversity. Despite the contributions made by environmental criminologists and new urbanists, the most popular explanation of fear of crime and crime reduction, offered by the field of criminology, focuses on reducing quality-of-life offenses and incivilities. Yet, these strategies are not known to significantly reduce fear of crime, but rather for purging the urban landscape of its diversity through exclusion.