Insecurity on the rise

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Xenia Kathrine Lykke Pauli
4. term, Global Refugee Studies, Master (Master Programme)
This master thesis is a study of why the experience of insecurity is increasing among residents in the Danish social housing area of Brøndby Strand while crime rates are lower than they have been for forty years. The research seeks to explore this apparent paradox through empirical data collected through qualitative interviews with residents of Brøndby Strand and quantitative data from surveys and statistics, but it also seeks to explain the tendency of the increased experience of insecurity on a more general level in the late modern society through relevant theory.
The qualitative interviews from where statements will be analysed have been conducted in the fall of 2020, and the interviewees are all tenant board members from Brøndby Strand, who provide explanations as to why the insecurity is increasing among residents in the neighbourhood, based on their personal experiences as well as through their roles as mediators in their community. Quantitative data sets such as statistics and surveys serve the research with some more generalisable data, and the theory included in this research will serve some explanation to the empirical data, but also elucidate how the tendency of an increased experience of insecurity is both relevant and present in our late modern society.
The analysis will be built up around working questions that seek to shed a light on different aspects of the overall topic of insecurity, because as the reader will find, the topic of insecurity is a complex size. Because of this research’s intentions to entail the experience of insecurity on both an individual level, a community-based level and a societal level, three overall topics will be covered, because of their relevance to the acquired empirical data and their possibility to explore different perspectives of the topic of insecurity. These three research topics can largely be described as: distrust in law enforcement, ethnic demography and neighbourly relations.
Through analysis of the empirical data and implementation of relevant theory, this research finds that the increasing experience of crime as a problem can be attributed to a change in the residents’ perception of crime wherein new types of crime may be perceived as more threatening to residents and more unassailable for law enforcement. The research will show how people are then more inclined to distrust the authorities because of the authorities’ inability to eradicate certain types of crime. It will also be demonstrated how globalisation is affecting the local communities and the residents’ experience of insecurity on a number of different aspects, whereof one is the aspect of increased mobility in the world is affecting the demographic change in a neighbourhood such as Brøndby Strand. Immigrants and descendants make up more than half of the neighbourhood’s population, and this introduction of the outsiders into the neighbourhood can cause a further experience of insecurity among residents of Danish descent. Demographic changes to a neighbourhood alongside an increased segmentation of resident’s social lives may lead to a reduction in close neighbourly relations which also affects the experience of insecurity among residents.
Among others, these are all elements that lead to an increase in the experience of insecurity, as it will be demonstrated throughout this research.

LanguageEnglish
Publication date31 Jan 2021
Number of pages66
ID: 403255515