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The makings of an exclusive community: students’ perceptions of dangerous others

Roberts, Nicola (2023) The makings of an exclusive community: students’ perceptions of dangerous others. Higher Education: The International Journal of Higher Education Research, 85 (4(81)). pp. 539-553. ISSN 0018-1560

Item Type: Article


Contemporarily, universities are perceived as neoliberal entities, self-absorbed, driven by corporate interests, markets and economic goals, rather than perceived as providing a public good, concerned for the wider world (del Cerro Santamaria 2020). This perception of universities as individualised communities rather than collective communities (Rousseau 2020), accentuates the responsibilisation of individuals who are viewed as responsible for solving their own problems (Martinez and Garcia 2000), including ensuring their own safety (Garland 1996). Set against this social-political backdrop, this paper, using data from an online survey about students’ perceptions of on-campus safety at a university in the north of England, shows how some students, particularly women students, view others as dangerous, rather than view them as vulnerable groups who are residing on the margins of an inequitable society. The porous borders of the university campuses amplify some students’ perceptions of
dangerous others and students’ suggestions for Campus Security to keep out such others arguably serve to aggravate rather than relieve their perceptions of unsafety. Yet the porous borders of the campuses should be seen as advantageous because an ecological university can connect its students to the wider world to help facilitate care for the other (Barnett 2018). In doing so, this may enhance students’ own sense of well-being and safety in the urban environment. This is a timely argument amidst a global pandemic, where the university restricts access to unauthorised others, and in doing so, facilitates the makings of an exclusive community.

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Uncontrolled Keywords: Neoliberalism Ecological university Students’ perceptions of safety Dangerous others Campus security
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Depositing User: Nicola Roberts


Item ID: 14694
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ISSN: 0018-1560
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ORCID for Nicola Roberts: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2022 10:16
Last Modified: 01 May 2023 02:38


Author: Nicola Roberts ORCID iD

University Divisions

Faculty of Education and Society > School of Social Sciences


Social Sciences > Criminology

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