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Introducing Fear of Crime to Risk Research

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This article introduces the fear of crime to risk research, noting a number of areas for future interdisciplinary study. First, the article analyzes both the career of the concept of fear of crime and the politics of fear. Second, it considers research and theory on the psychology of risk, particularly the interplay between emotion and cognition, and what might be called the risk as image perspective. Third, the article speculates how people learn about risk and suggests how to customize a social amplification of risk framework to fear of crime. Finally, the article advances the argument that fear of crime may be an individual response to community social order and a generalized attitude toward the moral trajectory of society. Each of these areas of discussion has implications for future theoretical developments within risk research; each highlights how risk research can contribute to the social scientific understanding of an important issue of the day.
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Keywords: Emotion and cognition; expressive function of risk perception; fear of crime; image of crime; risk perception; social amplification of risk

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 February 2006

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