Article Information

INEQUALITY IN PERCEPTIONS OF STREET SAFETY IN RUSSIA

Arseny Verkeev (averkeev@hse.ru)

National Research University Higher School of Economics, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Citation: Verkeev A. (2021) Neravenstvo v vospriyatii (u)lichnoy bezopasnosti v Rossii [Inequality in perceptions of street safety in Russia]. Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoy antropologii [The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 24(3): 169–192 (in Russian). https://doi.org/10.31119/jssa.2021.24.3.8

Abstract. Imagine walking home alone on a dark street. How safe do you feel? This is one of the many questions that constitute the subject of research on perceived safety. Being often considered as an indicator of the quality of life and well-being of the population, perceived safety receives great attention from social scientists and practitioners. However, in Russia this area remains underdeveloped. With the help of regression analysis, this article addresses the relationship between socio-demographic factors (independent variables) and the perception of street safety (dependent variable) by different groups of the Russian population. The article draws on four nationally representative samples obtained via two survey projects in the years 2010 and 2016: European Social Survey (ESS) and Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey — Higher School of Economics (RLMS-HSE). Two sources of data enable for data triangulation and help to overcome the limitations of previous research on perceived safety in Russia that relied on narrow nonprobability samples. The results suggest that despite the overall decline in the level of feelings of unsafety, inequality in perceived safety remains stable in Russia. A more intense feeling of unsafety after dark in the area of residence is reported by: women; residents of large cities; older people; people with poor subjective health; people who have faced criminal victimization. No stable relationship was found between the feeling of unsafety and the level of education. In addition, interaction effects of age and gender and curvilinear effects of age are examined. Young men are the least susceptible to feeling unsafe. Older men have an increased feeling of unsafety as opposed to younger men but older women are no different from younger women in this regard.

Keywords: street safety, perceived safety, subjective safety, victimization, fear of crime, social inequality, social insecurity 

Acknowledgments

The author is grateful to Veronica Kostenko for her valuable comments and help with organizing the work on this article. Responsibility for the quality of the article lies entirely with the author. The reported study was funded by RFBR, project number 20-311-90063. The article was prepared within the framework of the HSE University Basic Research Program.

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