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Approaching/departure: effacement, erasure and 'undoing' the fear of crime

Fanghanel, A; (2014) Approaching/departure: effacement, erasure and 'undoing' the fear of crime. cultural geographies , 21 (3) 343 - 361. 10.1177/1474474013495643. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper contributes to contemporary debates about the geographies of gendered fear of crime by examining the way in which a group of young women negotiate fear of crime in public space by creating affective distance between themselves and the approaching menace of fear. These distances are presented here as lacunae that young women construct in order to promote feelings of safety in public spaces. Bringing Sara Ahmed’s work on the circulation of affect and Jacques Derrida’s notion of erasure (or sous-rature) into a dialogue with each other, and building on a Heideggerian phenomenological understanding of fear as dynamic, this paper argues that constructing lacunae enables young women to undo the approach of signifiers of fear in public space, which in turn enables them to contest dominant discourses of the gendered nature of fear of crime. Such erasure also has implications for the politics of safe-keeping. This paper complicates conventional understandings of safe-keeping by highlighting how, in the pursuit of safety, erasures based on classed, raced, or gendered ‘othering’ manifest themselves and it highlights the importance, not only of attending to silences and absences used to promote feelings of safety, but also to the politics of these in the pursuit of safe-keeping.

Type: Article
Title: Approaching/departure: effacement, erasure and 'undoing' the fear of crime
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/1474474013495643
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1474474013495643
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (http://www.uk.sagepub.com/aboutus/openaccess.htm).
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1469493
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