Beyond moral panic

Young people and fear of crime

Authored by: Kelly Richards , Murray Lee

The Routledge International Handbook on Fear of Crime

Print publication date:  December  2017
Online publication date:  December  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138120334
eBook ISBN: 9781315651781
Adobe ISBN:


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While there is a substantial body of research on fear of crime generally, far less has been documented about fear of youth crime specifically. Understanding fear of youth crime in particular is, however, vital, since governments frequently premise legislative and policy changes on such community fears and anxieties. This chapter begins to address this gap and to commence a critical conversation about the conceptual and empirical aspects of fear of youth crime. Specifically, while much previous scholarship uses a moral panic framework to conceptualise fear of youth crime, we seek to challenge this framework on both conceptual and empirical grounds. Finally, we propose one alternative conceptual framework - that of southern criminology - which may provide an innovative way forward for better understanding this important topic.

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