Combining classificatory and discursive methods: Consistency and variability in responses to the threat of crime

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    Abstract

    This paper explores the implications for social psychology of an integration of classificatory and discursive methodologies through quantitative and qualitative analysis of responses to questions about the threat of violent crime. A total of 133 adults completed a set of standard questions followed by open-ended prompts enabling elaboration on their responses. Cluster analysis of a set of fear of crime measures distinguished four groups of respondents. Interview transcripts were analysed to identify discourses around crime deployed within each cluster in order to justify risk/anxiety judgments. Four participant positions emerge: the well-protected position, the vigilant position, the tactical risk manager and the besieged position. Further analysis of inconsistency and variability within interviews reveals the interactional discursive processes involved in the construction of criminal threat. Despite the diversity of participant positions available in constructing criminal threat and managing anxiety, discourses revolve centrally around issues of agency and uncontrollability.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)461-476
    Number of pages16
    JournalBritish Journal of Social Psychology
    Volume42
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

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