Embassies and sanctuaries: Women's experiences of race and fear in public space

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Women's fear in public space has received considerable scholarly and popular attention. Such fear is typically constructed from a white perspective, which reinforces prejudice and ignores the role of race in the experience of fear. Women's race prejudice and race fear are shaped and reflected in their use of the physical environment. Characteristics of the physical environment further shape these experiences. In this paper I investigate middle-class white, black and Hispanic women's experiences of race and fear in public spaces in Orange County, California. I present a typology of public spaces in which women encounter racialized others, and I map race fear onto these spaces. Experiences of fear and comfort in public space are examined, and I consider the interaction of race, class, and gender with place type and location. Particular attention is given to the form of these interactions in a post-suburban landscape.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-328
Number of pages22
JournalEnvironment and Planning D: Society and Space
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)


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