Feeling unsafe in Urban Areas: A Quantitative Study of Young People's Geographies of Safety in Mexico City
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In contrast to the adult and aspatial focus of much research on safety, this thesis examines the perspectives of safety amongst young people from three distinct areas in Mexico City within three contrasting urban locations; the general urban area of the city, the neighbourhood and the private home. My results suggest that various factors contribute to young people’s sense of safety in different locations, and that young people’s safety is dependent on the distinction between the local and non-local areas. Parental restrictions associated with preconceptions of vulnerability seem to play an important role in children’s varying levels of safety, where the unfamiliar, non-local general urban area of the city is associated with extreme levels of unsafety in contrast to that of the more local areas such as the neighbourhood and the home. Discrepancies are nevertheless found on the local level, where due to stark levels of socio-spatial segregation, young people from various socio-economic sectors live their everyday lives within distinct areas of the city and provides stark differentiation in their access to safety and exposure to crime. Howbeit, my preliminary findings reveal a complexity in perceived safety amongst young people growing up in an urban context, and emphasises the need for more research on children’s geographies of safety in order to increase our understanding of the ways in which children experience the local and non-local area of the cities they grow up in.