Fear in Motion: Gendered experiences of "street" harassment along the Los Angeles Blue Line

Authors: Darrell Carvalho*, California State University, Long Beach - Department of Geography
Topics: Gender, Transportation Geography, Qualitative Research
Keywords: public transportation, gender, fear, street harassment, mobilities
Session Type: Interactive Short Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Studio 10, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This thesis research seeks to be an analysis of personal experiences of fear amongst regular commuters on the Blue Line Metro light-rail that connects the cities of Long Beach and Los Angeles, California. The primary focus is on the lived experiences of cis and transgender women and femme non-binary individuals who rely on the Blue Line for regular mobility. The research will be conducted through a series of semi-structured in-person and web-mediated interviews of participants who identify as women or femme non-binary, who depend on riding the Blue Line for regular mobility, and who have experienced or witnessed gender-based street harassment while utilizing the Blue Line. Data analysis will be informed by an emphasis on intersecting forms of identity and marginalization, fear, and rider perceptions of current formal efforts to curb harassment and insecurity. I expect to find that leveraging an intersectional analytic framework in interpreting these experiences will reveal stories of fear in public space, limitation of mobility, and discontent with the current top-down approaches used to police or counteract street harassment both generally, and in the specific context of the Blue Line. Findings from this research will contribute to emerging debates that argue in favor of writing these stories into the scholarly literature to advance the development of nuanced theories and practices rooted in lived experiences, while challenging theories and practices which have proven ineffective or harmful to communities subjected to harassment and marginalization.

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