A phenomenology of perceptions and experiences of community, crime and anti‐social behaviour in Bryn Mawr, Wales

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis explores the lived realities and social meanings attached to the phenomenon of crime and anti‐social behaviour in Bryn Mawr, a semi‐urban geographical location in Wales. The primary lens through which this study was viewed was the perspective of the body and embodiment, and differing approaches to this theme are interwoven within the data analysis. This research draws primarily on participant observations mainly associated with a preventative activities project run by the Youth Offending Services and Communities First, together with interviews with a number of parents, young people and practitioners in the area. The thesis aims to situate people’s understandings and experiences of crime and antisocial behaviour in the context of the immediate social, cultural and spatial interactions within Bryn Mawr, with a particular emphasis on young people. Initially, the thesis explores peoples’ understandings of community and discusses how this might affect their feelings regarding crime and anti‐social behaviour. This introduces the particularities of the social geography of the locale. The thesis then describes how crime and anti‐social behaviour is defined, and further develops concepts of power, abjection and reflexive embodiment. The next two chapters of the thesis examine crime and anti‐social behaviour, via the perspectives of the dramaturgical body and the phenomenological body. The thesis therefore analyses the complex ways in which crime and anti‐social behaviour are enacted in Bryn Mawr, and explores the intersections between identity, power and place. This thesis argues for alternative representations of young people involved in anti‐social behaviour that question the master narratives of young people as abject others and one that acknowledges the fluid nature of identity construction. The conclusion then calls for a radical (re)discovery of the female body as a starting point for thought, and as a place from which a new ethics of relating can emerge.
Date of Award27 May 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SupervisorAnel Marais (Supervisor) & Nathan Gibbs (Supervisor)

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