chapter  3
18 Pages

Constituting local problems

In the chapters that follow I will be exploring the way residents talked about the estate, its decline or changes they had seen and the problems they describe. I want to unpack the ways that residents differ in their explanations of and identification of problems on the estate. This is an attempt to examine differing world views amongst residents and the various interpretations of change that they bring to participatory processes. Although crime, disorder and threatening behaviour are central to the way residents talked about the problems on the estate, my emphasis is on the way residents identify problems and explain change more generally. It is in the way that crime and disorder are constituted as problems with which I am interested; how they are explained within the framework of other understandings of the world, their role as symbolic signifiers of change and as issues around which to mobilise action. This chapter outlines the theoretical approach that I have taken. Before I begin to outline this approach I want first to clarify the way in which it differs from other debates about public responses to crime and disorder.