Crime talk in the suburbs: Symbolic representations of status and security on a master planned estate

Lynda Cheshire, Rebecca Wickes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Master planned estates (MPEs) are marketed, sold and purchased on the basis of powerful symbols of security and aesthetics, as well as shared aspirations, values and lifestyle patterns. Living in an MPE not only represents a significant economic investment, but also provides residents with symbolic capital that comes with living in a new, secure, and high status community. Drawing on a case study of an MPE in Brisbane, Queensland, this paper examines the discursive strategies used by residents when the symbolic representation of their suburb is challenged by an ongoing problem of delinquency. By reviewing resident 'blogs' on community forums, it examines how the dissonance between the representation and the experience of the MPE is collectively managed, through the medium of talk, to rationalise and neutralise the problem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1162-1181
Number of pages20
JournalHousing Studies
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • cognitive dissonance
  • Crime talk
  • identity
  • neighbourhood
  • online
  • symbolic capital

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