“Cities in Fear“

Media Representations of Single Repeat Perpetrators and Gendered and Racialized Fear of Violence in Public Space

  • Linda Sandberg Umeå Centre for Gender Studies, Umeå University
Keywords: Fear, single repeat perpetrators, gendered violence, racist threats, public space, Sweden


In Sweden, several cases of single repeat perpetrators in public spaces have raised public concern. These cases all represent situations in which one individual perpetrator affects a larger group of people in a specific time and place. By analysing journalistic reporting of four cities/towns described as “in fear” based on the acts of three separate serial rapists/sexual offenders and one shooter, I intersectionally examine responses and reactions to such specific threat to be able to contribute to a better understanding of how fear of violence affects urban geographical imaginations. These four cases in Sweden (The Haga Man, the Örebro Man, the Hagfors Man, and the Malmö Shooter) involve a consideration of how one specific individual influences narratives of fear and crime as a generalized pattern of gendered and racialized fear of violence in public space. The analysis revealed two different but interdependent stories, one based upon the concern to keep women “safe,” and the other dependent upon racist threats and hate crimes.


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How to Cite
Sandberg, L. (2020). “Cities in Fear“. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 19(2), 519-544. Retrieved from https://www.acme-journal.org/index.php/acme/article/view/1615