How Rural Criminology Informs Critical Thinking in Criminology


Over the past quarter century, a growing volume of rural-focused criminological work has emerged. In this article, the literature related to three rural criminological issues are examined and discussed in terms of their lessons for critical criminology. Research on rural communities and crime is examined as a way to criticize and challenge mainstream criminological theories and concepts like social disorganisation and collective efficacy, and to remind critical criminologists of the importance for developing critical perspectives for place-based or ecological theories of crime. Agricultural crime studies are discussed in terms of the need to develop a critical criminology of agriculture and food. Finally, criminological studies of rural ‘others’ is used to show the need for critical criminologists to give greater analytic attention to divisions and marginalities of peoples living in smaller and more isolated places based on gender, race, and lifestyles, among other factors.

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Published: 2013-11-01
Pages:69 to 91
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How to Cite
Donnermeyer, J. F., Scott, J. and Barclay, E. (2013) “How Rural Criminology Informs Critical Thinking in Criminology”, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 2(3), pp. 69-91. doi: 10.5204/ijcjsd.v2i3.122.

Author Biographies

Professor Joseph Donnermeyer

School of Environment and Natural Resources

The Ohio State University

Columbus, Ohio, USA

University of New England

Professor Scott's primary research interests are in the fields of sociology (sociology of gender, health and sexuality) and criminology (sociology of deviance and social control). A common theme in his research has been a concern with marginalised social populations and the development of critical and interpretive perspectives to understand the experiences of and social reactions to such populations. He considers himself a specialist in qualitative methodologies, such as interviews and focus groups. He has also used surveys and other quantitative methods in his research. An important direction in his research has been rural and regional social issues, especially what has sometimes been referred to as ‘strange ruralities’.

Professor Scott also leads the ARC funded project “Masculinity and commercial sex: Learning about men’s sexualities in the male sex work encounter”.

University of New England

Senior Lecturer, Criminology, UNE