Skip to main content

Navigating the femininity-vulnerability nexus: A reconsideration of the protective function of gendered “safety work”

Resource type
Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
Based on Critical Discourse Analysis of 17 interviews with women aged 19-26, this thesis explores the ways women negotiate positionalities as subjects of a gendered fear discourse that, while exaggerating gendered risks in public spaces, paradoxically places the onus on women to ensure their own safety. Findings suggest that, while fear of violent crime (FoVC) contours nearly every aspect of women’s lives and engenders taxing “safety work”, gendered “risk-management” is naturalized by participants as a sensical response to “immutable” gendered vulnerability. Although ostensibly engaged to ensure physical security, safety work only exacerbates women’s FoVC and unreliably mitigates their exposure to violence. I thus suggest that, in the present research, safety work is engaged because it affords women the ontological security associated with evading the subjectivity of the “Imprudent Woman”: the failed female subject whose inadequate “risk-management” justifiably denies her care, trust, and even access to the resources required for living.
Copyright statement
Copyright is held by the author.
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Chan, Wendy
Member of collection
Download file Size
etd20336.pdf 929.24 KB

Views & downloads - as of June 2023

Views: 0
Downloads: 0