Fear of Crime and Social Networks: A Community Study of Two Local Public Housing Complexes

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Title: Fear of Crime and Social Networks: A Community Study of Two Local Public Housing Complexes
Author: Bissler, Denise L.
Advisors: Stacy M. De Coster, Committee Member
Rodney L. Engen, Committee Member
Patricia L. McCall, Committee Member
William R. Smith, Committee Chair
Abstract: This dissertation is an exploration of fear of crime and the impact of social networks on fear among residents of two local public housing complexes. Fear of crime is operationalized as perceived risk of victimization in which interviewees assessed their likelihood of victimization. Several theories of fear will be tested including direct victimization theory, physical vulnerability theory, incivilities theory, social vulnerability theory, and a social network theory. In addition, an exploratory study of the differences among the two complexes is conducted. The two public housing complexes studied here are similar in sociological characteristics such as demographic composition and size, but differ in management, tenure limitations, and perceptions of incivilities. Support is found for direct victimization theory and the empowerment effect of networks. No support for incivilities theory, physical vulnerability theory, or social vulnerability theory was found. Policy implications point toward increasing community cohesion.
Date: 2003-04-17
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Sociology
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/3100


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