“It was entirely his fault”: constructing white masculinities and the Haga man assaults in Umeå, Sweden 1998-2006
2013 (English)In: Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, ISSN 0966-369X, E-ISSN 1360-0524, Vol. 20, no 2, 178-194 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Several cases of single repeat offenders in urban space have raised public concern in Sweden during recent decades. Few studies have been conducted on the consequences of the hostage situations' that emerge when one individual offender causes fear and affects a large group of people in a specific place. The concern of this article is to examine consequences of the Haga Man phenomenon: the case of a serial rapist operating between 1998 and 2006 in Umea, a medium-sized Swedish city. The article focuses on the construction of white masculinities among male respondents in Umea during the time of the attacks. I examine how men positioned themselves in relation to the public image of the offender as a normal Swede' and how they related to women's increasing fear of violence in urban space. Three prominent constructions of masculinity emerged from the research data: the dangerous stranger, the suspect and the protector. These three constructions of masculinity were not clear-cut and did not belong' to specific men several of the interviewees articulated various forms of masculinities but stressed them in different ways depending on, for instance, age and/or ethnicity/race. I conclude that men largely positioned themselves as protectors as a strategy to distance themselves from the perpetrator (the image of the normal Swedish man' performing the rapes) and to ensure that they would not be perceived as suspects. However, men largely perceived that women's increased fear of crime was one man's fault' and broader issues about gendered power relations in space were not raised.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2013. Vol. 20, no 2, 178-194 p.
the geography of fear, gender, masculinity, whiteness, narrative analysis, Sweden
Gender Studies Human Geography Social Sciences
Research subject Social and Economic Geography
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-48588DOI: 10.1080/0966369X.2012.674931ISI: 000317268400003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-48588DiVA: diva2:451305
Ingick som manuskript i avhandlingen "Fear of violence and gendered power relations". 2011-10-252011-10-252013-11-29Bibliographically approved