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Neighborhood Structure and Fear of Crime in Urban China: Disorder As a Neighborhood Process

  • Jianhong Liu (a1)


Fear of crime has always been a major topic in the popular media and for public policy. Consequences of fear of crime are salient for citizens' and the community's quality of life. Since the late 1970s, there has been a much scholarly attention paid to the role of disorder in producing fear of crime and further producing adverse community consequences. Particularly influential works were Wilson and Kelling's paper (1982) and Skogan's work (1990); these works greatly influenced public policy in the late 1980s and early 1990s (Greene and Taylor 1988; Ferraro 1994). The salient feature of this research is its emphasis on the role of community context, analyzing how disorder generates fear of crime and leads to community decline at the street block and neighborhood level. The impact of fear of crime extends beyond the victims of the crimes, and indicates the salience of the social aspect of fear of crime. Therefore, neighborhood effects are highly relevant to the understanding of fear of crime. Scholars have recognized that individuals' fear is better understood within a neighborhood or community context. The purpose of the present study is to build upon prior work to address critical questions of neighborhood effects on fear of crime under context of contemporary urban China. Using multilevel analyses of data from Tianjing, China, this paper found that neighborhood context variables have effect on fear of crime independent of individual characteristics.


La peur du crime a toujours été un thème dominant dans les médias populaires et les politiques publiques, et a une forte incidence sur la qualité de la vie des citoyens et de la communauté. Depuis la fin des années 1970, pas mal de travaux scientifiques, notoirement ceux de Wilson et Kelling, ou ceux de Skogan, de Greene et Taylor, ou de Ferraro, se sont attachés à ces problèmes et ont influencé les politiques publiques. Ils ont montré que le désordre mène à un sentiment d'insécurité, qui n'est pas du tout propre aux victimes directes, mais mine la communauté par un déclin de la vie de quartier de de la vie de voisinage. Le propos de la présente étude est, sur la base de ces travaux, de se poser des questions critiques dans le contexte de la Chine urbaine contemporaine. Au départ d'analyses multi-niveaux de données de Tianjing, en Chine, ce texte montre que des variables de contexte de voisinage interfèrent avec le sentiment d'insécurité indépendamment de caractéristiques individuelles.


El miedo al delito ha sido siempre un tema dominante en los medios populares y en las políticas públicas y posee una fuerte incidencia sobre la calidad de vida de los ciudadanos y de la comunidad. Desde finales de la década de los 70, una gran cantidad de trabajos científicos han prestado atención a estos problemas y han influenciado las políticas públicas, principalmente los de Wilson y Kelling, o los de Slogan, de Greene y Taylor, o de Ferraro, Han mostrado que el desorden conduce a un sentimiento de inseguridad, que no es en absoluto exclusivo de las víctimas directas, sino que mina la comunidad por una disminución de la vida de barrio y de la vida de vecindad. Sobre la base de estos trabajos, el propósito del presente estudio es plantear cuestiones críticas en el contexto de la China urbana contemporánea. Utilizando análisis multinivel de datos de Tianjing, en China, este texto muestra que las variables de contexto del vecindario interfieren con el sentimiento de inseguridad independientemente de las características individuales.



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Neighborhood Structure and Fear of Crime in Urban China: Disorder As a Neighborhood Process

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