Trygghet i skärgårdsmiljö. En studie om rädsla för brott i Åboland.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)

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This study examines safety and fear of crime in Åboland, a predominantly rural area in southwestern Finland. It also examines crime and criminals in the area, as well as the distinctive social control that characterises Åboland's eight municipalities. The study continues two strands of research, the first about criminality and fear of crime in societies that are considered safe by their inhabitants, the second about safety and lack of fear of crime in Finnish societies.

My emphasis on social control originates in analytical abduction ? a combination of analytical induction and deduction. My attention has been drawn to the concept ?social control? in both the theoretical and empirical phases of this study. Both qualitative and quantitative methods have been used.

I discuss seven elements that can increase fear of crime, using them as tools to analyse the inhabitants? experiences and descriptions of safety: degree of urbanisation, environmental design, integration, trust, vulnerability, victimisation and mass media.

The safety in the Åboland area consists of several aspects. Many of the municipalities are connected to the mainland by ferry, which create visible borderlines between Åboland and the world outside. Åboland can thus be seen as a ?natural? gated community with the ferries keeping out ?dangerous? elements. Also, in Gemeinschaft societies such as Åboland, there is a considerable amount of trust between the inhabitants. This personal trust between inhabitants takes various forms. It is common practice to keep front doors, bicycles and cars unlocked. It is also common to trust neighbours or friends to provide help, for example in dangerous or threatening situations.

However, there are also dangers in the area. These dangers, of which drugs and drunk drivers are considered as most severe, increase the fear of crime. Most local offenders are nevertheless seen as non-dangerous, often because their crime is considered to be an unintentional result of inebriation rather than truly ?intentional? offending.
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
  • Sociology
  • Åkerström, Malin, Supervisor
Award date2005 Sep 28
Print ISBNs91-7267-195-5
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 2005-09-28
Time: 13:15
Place: Kulturens auditorium

External reviewer(s)

Name: Franzén, Mats
Title: Professor
Affiliation: Institutet för bostads- och urbanforskning


Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)


  • Criminology
  • Åboland
  • Victimisation
  • Trust
  • Stranger
  • Social control
  • Shaming
  • Safety
  • Rural
  • Risk
  • Police
  • Moral minimalism
  • Gossip
  • Gemeinschaft
  • Gated community
  • Fear of crime
  • Established and outsiders
  • Drink driving
  • Archipelago
  • Community
  • Kriminologi
  • Sociology
  • Sociologi

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