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Review 2 of “‘I am actually sitting with fear’: Narratives of Fear of Crime and Actual Victimization in Cape Town, South Africa”

...Qualitative...Criminology

Published onJun 08, 2021
Review 2 of “‘I am actually sitting with fear’: Narratives of Fear of Crime and Actual Victimization in Cape Town, South Africa”

Vote: Publish pending minor changes


[For votes to count, referees must reasonably explain why they voted as they did. Thus, please explain your vote. If you voted to publish pending minor changes, specify each change, why it is needed, and, possibly, how it should/could be done.]

1.     The last sentence in the abstract should come sooner in the text.

2.     There are too many quotations (I counted at least seven, including the long quotation) in the introductory section alone. The author should paraphrase some of these. Indeed, many of these statements can be paraphrased without the loss of the original meanings.

3.     The following sentence on p. 2, “Crime is a prominent issue in South Africa …”, has an end quote but no beginning quote. 

4.     The following statement on p. 3, “NGOs may have a greater effect …,” needs a citation or two.

5.     While this is a well-written manuscript, the rampant use of quotations weakens the appeal of the paper. The literature review section is also replete with too many quotations, many of which should be paraphrased.

6.     Under the subsection on “Gangsterism,” the author cited data from John (2018) that indicated that 3.4 million young people were “excluded” from the economy. I encourage the author to put this figure in relative terms as well. For example, what percentage of able-bodied people are unemployed? This is the more crucial indicator of unemployment, rather than the non-contextualized raw figure alone.

7.     There are too many quotations in the “Gangsterism” subsection.

8.     The Merton (1937) quotation on p. 7 is more than 40 words, and should therefore follow the proper citation rules.

9.     On page 7, the author wrote: “Agnew’s work is further explored in General Strain Theory: Current Status and Directions ….” There is no need to mention the title of the book in your manuscript! Just go on and explain the information to your readers. The readers can figure the source in the References, if they so choose.

10.  The first three sentences under the “Control Theory” subsection (pp. 7, 8) absolutely should be deleted!

11.  There are a number of grammatically incorrect sentences in the manuscript that need to be revised.

12.  Too many citations under DATA AND METHODS. Every statement here could, ideally, be in the author’s own words.

13.  Is there a way Table 1 could be redone? Currently, there are so many empty cells in the table, an indication that a better design is warranted.

14.  In the abstract, we are told there were 36 participants in the study. Table 1 indicates that 18 staff members were interviewed. In that case, shouldn’t Table 2, which shows the number of community members interviewed, contain 18 participants, rather than 25? The author should clarify the seeming discrepancy.

15.  The author’s biography has an error in it: it should be “… at Long Island University-Brooklyn.”

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