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Fear, Geographies of

  • By: Rachel Pain
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Geographers who study fear are interested in its social and spatial rather than purely psychological qualities. Fear is an emotional reaction to a perceived threat that acquires meaning from its context. It may have positive and negative effects on people and places. The interest of geographers in fear is long-standing, traditionally associated with studies of landscape and crime and most recently flourishing within the fields of emotional geographies and geopolitics. Fear inhabits, moves between, and shapes particular environments, altering the patterning of social relations. In turn, places may create or reinforce fear. Fear is implicated in restrictions on the use of space but also in reclaiming of space by individuals, groups, and organizations.

The earliest studies of fear in geography focused on subjective aspects of cultural ...

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