Young people's perception of being safe - globally and locally

Charlotte Fabiansson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Giddens explores, in Modernity and Self-Identity, our preoccupation with risks in modern social life and the disparity between perceived risks and actual prevalence of life-threatening dangers [Giddens, A.: 1991, Modern and Self-Identity. Self and Society in Late Modern Age (Polity Press, Cambridge), p. 115]. Modern technologies have made global information accessible around the world; real time news communiqués about unfolding situations are displayed directly into the home environment through television and the internet. Global issues and local events intermix, blurring worldwide issues and threats with local realities. This research explored the everyday life of young people in two Australian rural communities, their community affiliation, sense of belonging and feeling safe in the local rural community. The research was exploratory in nature and based on a survey of 751 young people aged between 14 and 21 years, all being students at local secondary high schools. Feeling safe was of concern for both female and male young people: females indicated a higher tolerance towards strangers and cultural diversity, but at the same time, they felt less safe in the local community. These findings are discussed in relation to a 1989–1990 study of 13- to 21-year-old urban Australian and Swedish young people. The study explored young people’s experiences of scary events in mass media, in their home environment and among themselves. The findings signify the need for a holistic approach to identify social indicators to describe the grounds for young people feeling unsafe and the need to take into consideration local community circumstances, the global milieu and conflicts as portrayed in news, documentary and entertainment mass media.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-49
Number of pages19
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • fear
  • feeling safe
  • globalisation
  • local community
  • mass media
  • young people


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