Fear of Crime among Inner-City African Americans

Fear of Crime among Inner-City African Americans

Fear of Crime among Inner-City African Americans

Fear of Crime among Inner-City African Americans

Synopsis

In this collection, Esther Raizen explores the significance and value of Hebrew poetry written in response to the wars in which Israel was involved during the last fifty years. The anthology includes the works of many poets, some as well known as Nathan Altherman and Yehudah Amichai and others less known. The poems, presented in both English and Hebrew, depict war as viewed by the soldier, as reflected upon by civilians, and as a force giving rise to the creation of poetry. Raizen explores in an introductory essay the issue of whether poetry written with a defined political message and in the context of certain historical events can function adequately on the aesthetic level. She also tracks the changes in the characteristics of Israeli war poetry from 1948 to 1991, beginning with the glorified patriotism expected in the 1930s-1940s and progressing to the critical ideas in the later years, during which poetry is characterized by understatement and cynicism.

Excerpt

Studies dedicated to understanding and explaining reactions to crime, specifically, perceived crime-risk and fear of victimization have shifted in focus since their emergence in the late 1960’s. Initially, most studies tended to focus on investigating linkages between socio-demographic characteristics and these crime-reactions (see Skogan and Maxfield, 1981 and Lewis and Salem, 1986). Increasingly, however, researchers have stressed that social context, and perceptions of it, may be other causal factors related to community and resident risk perceptions and fear of victimization (Hunter, 1985; Lewis and Salem, 1986; Skogan, 1986), particularly in urban environments. the physical and social features of the neighborhood termed “disorder” or “incivilities” (e.g. graffiti, abandoned buildings and cars, loitering youth, open drinking and gambling) are aspects of local social control that have received particular attention. These disorders are perceived to symbolize eroding social control within the neighborhood. Many studies in this area have explicated links between perceived disorder, a measure of weak intracommunity control, and these crime-reactions (LaGrange, et al., 1992; Greenberg, 1986; Covington and Taylor, 1991).

—SOPHOCLES, Antigone

Private 1ST class fred fory studied the map in his hand, trying to match the contour lines with the terrain in front of him. Once oriented, he and his squad lined up one or two arm’s lengths apart and began walking across the grassy field, keeping a careful eye out for trip wires and unexploded ordnance.

Fory had grown up hunting and fishing in Louisiana, and his woods experience proved invaluable in his assignment with the Army Graves Registration Service. His duty, and that of his squad and many other units that were fanned out across South Korea, was to find and retrieve the remains of U.S. servicemen who had given their lives for their country. During three years of fighting the North Koreans and Chinese, thousands had fallen, and many lay in foxholes, in bunkers, in fields, and on mountainsides. Their buddies, hard pressed to save their own lives, had been forced to leave them behind, but they had made a promise to come back someday, find them, identify them, reunite them with their families, and give them a proper burial with all due honors. and while the fallen slept, their bodies returned to the soil.

Looking for a depression in the ground, an elongated patch of grass that grew taller and greener than the rest, old military equipment, or defense fortifications, Fory and the others continued their search. From afterbattle reports they knew that the remains of a soldier were somewhere in the 1,000-meter-square grid marked on the map. Eventually, their search line moved over and down three small knolls and, some hundred or so yards farther, came to the base of a cliff. There, against the cliff face, they saw that someone had built a semicircular rock wall that offered a small area of protection. They carefully climbed over the makeshift fort wall and . . .

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