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|Title:||Conjuring and Avoiding the "bad man": Narratives of Crime and Fear in Trinidad|
|Abstract:||<p> Upper middle and upper class Trinidadians are equally though differently entangled in the effects of global, regional and local processes of crime, risk and fear as their counterparts from lower classes. A recent rapid increase in violent crime and particularly a five-fold increase in murder rates in under ten years has caused a shift in lifestyle patterns and are imagining of social, public and private space in the country. </p> <p> Upper class groups conjure and employ an image of a classed and raced 'bad man' who is held responsible for increases in crime and gang violence and is the locus for anxieties for fears for personal safety and the future of the nation. </p> <p> My research shows that upper middle and upper classes increasingly assert, re-create and negotiate their class position with reference to changing informal rules of 'safe' behaviour and movement in reference to this conjured 'bad man'. Home spaces are created and fortified against those construed as 'risky'. Informal rules of appropriate 'safe' behaviour are negotiated and emerge through endless talk of crime. This talk re-imagines and reifies nearly all lower classes as 'risky' and the conclusions of this talk invariably lead to greater attempted isolation of upper classes from lower classes. </p> <p> National elections in 2007 and 2010 point to a potential long-term shift away from racialized voting patterns, even as racialized and classed stereotypes flourish. Recent successes of an ostensibly non-racial third political party point to new electoral paradigms and indicate that increases in crime and fear of crime supercede more simplistic racebased allegiances. A paradox, between upper class attempts at increased isolation from crime and continued re-imagining of markers of classed and racialized difference on the one hand, and a perhaps historic change in voting patterns away from long held notions of racial difference on the other hand weave throughout this dissertation and point to the ways in which understandings of risk and crime can influence social change. </p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Digitized Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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