Questioning the measurement of the 'fear of crime': findings from a major methodological study

Farrall, S., Bannister, J., Ditton, J. and Gilchrist, E. (1997) Questioning the measurement of the 'fear of crime': findings from a major methodological study. British Journal of Criminology, 37(4), pp. 657-678.

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Abstract

Research upon the fear of crime has grown substantially in recent years. From its very inception, this field has relied almost exclusively upon quantitative surveys, which have suggested that the fear of crime is a prevalent social problem. However, doubts about the nature of the instruments used to investigate this phenomenon have cumulatively raised the possibility that the fear of crime has been significantly misrepresented. Dealing with the epistemological, conceptual, operational and technical critiques of quantitative surveys in general and of fear of crime surveys in particular, this article suggests that our understanding of the fear of crime is a product of the way it has been researched rather than the way it is. As the aim of the research project under which this data was collected was to develop and design new quantitative questions, the article ends with some possible solutions to the epistemological, conceptual, operational and technical problems discussed which may improve future quantitative research in this field.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bannister, Mr Jonathan and Ditton, Dr Jason
Authors: Farrall, S., Bannister, J., Ditton, J., and Gilchrist, E.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:British Journal of Criminology
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0007-0955

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