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Review 1 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 1 of “‘I am actually sitting with fear’: Narratives of Fear of Crime and Actual Victimization in Cape Town, South Africa”

Vote: Reject


[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.]

It is unclear what the author intended to accomplish with this research. This study certainly informs readers of the context of the Western Cape Province of South Africa and the effort of an NGO government to improve the lives of the people in the impoverished townships in this area.

However, this research was not conducted not to introduce this information but to understand fear of crime and victimization among participants and staff. The title of this article also appears to focus on fear of crime and victimization. Surprisingly though, the discussions regarding fear of crime and victimization are very limited in his/her literature review. The author did not make a clear connection regarding how this research is related to the larger literature on fear of crime and victimization.

It was puzzling to me that the author used strain and control theories to analyze interview responses when the main focus was on fear of crime and victimization. There is a voluminous literature on the relationship between context, victimization, and fear of crime. The author should consider reviewing and incorporating this research into his/her own research to highlight what insight this research provides.

Revisions are also necessary to clarify the purpose of this study by narrowing down the author’s focus. Sometimes, the author gives the impression that this research is about the consequences of fear of crime, and other times, the author seems to investigate the causes of the violence in this community. This incoherence makes it hard to see the contribution of this study.

[Please put additional info below, as/if you see fit.]

If the author wants to link gangsterism to victimization and fear of crime, there is a large amount of research on fear of gang crime. The findings of this line of research can be used to discuss the author’s own findings.

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