Picturing Community Factors That Make Residents Feel Unsafe

Jodi Lane, University of Florida

During the summer of 1997, I conducted seven focus groups with residents of six Santa Ana, California neighborhoods regarding the community factors that made them afraid of gangs and gang crime. Groups were conducted in two lower income, two middle income and two upper income communities. To supplement the discussions, I gave participants disposable cameras and asked them to take pictures in their neighborhood to illustrate the fear-inducing factors that they had discussed during our focus group session. Participants primarily took pictures of physical (e.g., graffiti, bars on windows, and trash) and social (e.g., youths in the park) incivilities, thereby verifying the results of many empirical studies showing that concerns about disorder are key factors prompting people to fear crime. This poster presentation will display pictures taken by these participants to illustrate the cues that prompted them to fear gang crime.

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Updated 05/20/2006