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For a genealogy of street-wisdom

Fanghanel, Alexandra Nadja (2010) For a genealogy of street-wisdom. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

The study of women’s fear of crime has received considerable academic attention from a range of disciplinary directions. This thesis propels these existing debates further forward by problematising the construction of ‘fear’ and ‘safety’ in existing work and by exploring the range of ways in which public spaces are understood, and knowledge about them constructed and deployed. Using a Foucauldian and affective theoretical framework, the thesis uncovers how safe or fearful ‘knowledges’ are constituted, and reconfigures them, beyond the limits of this lexicon, as ‘at-home-ness’ and ‘un-at-home-ness’. These terms offer both broader and more precise ways of speaking about the specificity of women’s day-to-day experiences of occupying public space. With this in mind, this thesis uses a mix of qualitative methods including Walking Interviews, Map Interviews and Multimedia Diaries to investigate, with 45 female participants across three sites in the South East of England, the ways in which they situate themselves physically and emotionally in their home towns. The study begins to excavate how this knowledge, or street-wisdom, is formed and circulated, reflecting the breadth of sometimes emancipatory, sometimes exclusionary or oppressed ways in which women experience their bodies in space. By adopting this nuanced perspective on fear of crime, and by proposing an understanding of fear of crime which is more complex and contingent than existing discussions suggest, this thesis offers challenging and instructive insights into the possibilities and problematics of fear when used to inform street-wisdom.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > School of Geography (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.536105
Depositing User: Ethos Import
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2012 10:06
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2014 11:24
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/2774

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