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Assembling fear, practicing hope: geographies of gender and generation in Newcastle upon Tyne

ALEXANDER, CATHERINE,LOUISE (2009) Assembling fear, practicing hope: geographies of gender and generation in Newcastle upon Tyne. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This thesis explores young people’s emotional experiences of fear of crime. It is based on a long-term and in-depth piece of participatory fieldwork in a low-income urban area in Newcastle upon Tyne. I engaged in the use of participatory diagramming, group discussions and individual interviews in order to access the lived experiences and material realities of local residents, to identify and understand how fear works in the neighbourhood. The research includes insights from a variety of groups: the emphasis is mainly on the young, but with a perspective from older people too. It shows that fear is tied to power and has a bearing on people’s freedom, including their access to and use of space, their participation in social life and their ability to control their future. The theoretical contribution is to enhance understandings of fear, by showing that it is bound up with a practice of citizenship; and to enhance understandings of what citizenship means, by documenting its entanglement with fear. Methodologically, the work contributes to the development of participatory geographies. In both an empirical and a theoretical sense, the thesis brings to light how participating in research as well as in wider community activities enabled participants to envision ways that fear can be negated through increasing ‘confidence’ of all kinds. As such, the thesis concludes that participation – in the fullest sense of the word – can be empowering in the face of fear. It enables us to imagine the possibility of a more hopeful future trajectory.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Youth; Fear of Crime; Participatory Action Research; Newcastle; Gender; Generation
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Geography, Department of
Thesis Date:2009
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:28 Apr 2010 10:31

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