1st Edition

Research Methods for Rural Criminologists

Edited By Ralph A. Weisheit, Jessica Peterson, Artur Pytlarz Copyright 2022
    258 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    258 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Conducting rural criminological research exposes researchers to concerns such as absence or inadequate official data about crime and superficial rural-urban comparisons, rural isolation and distance from the researchers’ office to the study site, and lack of services or access to justice. This distinct cultural context means that studying rural crime requires creatively adapting existing research methods. Conducting research about or in rural settings requires unique researcher preparation, as everything from defining the space at the conception of a project to collecting and analyzing data differs from urban research.

    This book explores the various issues, challenges, and solutions for rural researchers in criminology. Integrating state of the art methodological approaches with practical illustrations, this book serves as an internationally comprehensive compendium of methods for students, scholars, and practitioners. While contributing to the growing field of rural criminology, it will also be of interest to those engaged with the related areas of rural health care, rural social work, and rural poverty.

    List of Figures

    List of Boxes

    List of Contributors

    Chapter 1. Defining Rural

    Callie Marie Rennison and Hailey Powers Mondragon

    Chapter 2. Studying the Rural Criminal Justice System

    Kyle C. Ward, Paul Hawkins, and Alexandra Swanty

    Chapter 3. An Essay on Theory and Research in Rural Criminology

    Joseph F. Donnermeyer

    Chapter 4. Gaining Access to Rural Communities

    Jessica Rene Peterson

    Chapter 5. Gathering Data on Male-To-Female Violence in Rural and Remote Places

    Walter S. DeKeseredy

    Chapter 6. Investigating Access to Justice, the Rural Lawyer Shortage, and Implications for Civil and Criminal Legal Systems

    Lisa Pruitt and Andrew Davies

    Chapter 7. Researching State Crime in Rural Areas

    Victoria E. Collins

    Chapter 8. Crime Talk in the Countryside

    Artur Pytlarz and Matt Bowden

    Chapter 9. Surveying in Rural Settings

    Alistair Harkness, Kyle Mulrooney, and Joseph F. Donnermeyer

    Chapter 10. Focus Groups: The Challenges and Advantages of Creating and Using Focus Groups in Rural Areas?

    Gorazd Meško and Rok Hacin

    Chapter 11. Geographical Information and GIS in Rural Criminology

    Vania Ceccato

    Chapter 12. Entering the Relational Space: Using Field-Analytic Methods in Researching Rural Security

    Matt Bowden and Artur Pytlarz

    Chapter 13. Interviewing in Rural Areas

    Kreseda Smith

    Chapter 14. Ethnographic Research: Immersing Oneself in the Rural Environment.

    Michele Statz and William Garriott

    Chapter 15. Visually Representing Rural: Ethics of Photographing Marginalized People in the Rural South

    Heith Copes and Jared Ragland

    Chapter 16. Content Analysis in Rural Criminology

    Stephen T. Young and Brian Pitman

    Chapter 17. Going Global: The Challenges of Studying Rural Crime Worldwide

    Ziwei Qi

    Chapter 18. Future Directions for Rural Research Methods

    Ralph Weisheit



    Ralph A. Weisheit is a Distinguished Professor of Criminal Justice at Illinois State University. He is the author of eight books, including Methamphetamine: Its History, Pharmacology, and Treatment (co-authored with William L. White), and Domestic Marijuana: A Neglected Industry. He has conducted extensive research on rural crime and justice and has published more than 45 journal articles, numerous book chapters, and solicited essays. He has appeared in the Frontline documentary film series and on the news program 60 Minutes. His work has been reported in the Atlantic Monthly, U.S. News & World Report, The Washington Post, and USA Today.

    Jessica Rene Peterson is an Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, an Honorary Adjunct Lecturer at the University of New England, Australia, and a Research Associate with the Centre for Rural Criminology at the University of New England, Australia. Her research interests include policing and law enforcement community relations, rural criminology, and juvenile crime and policy. She enjoys using qualitative methods and working with practitioners to produce impactful research with practical applications. She is currently a member of the Rural Sociological Society, an active member in the American Society of Criminology’s Division of Rural Criminology, and serves as an Executive Committee Member in the International Society for the Study of Rural Crime.

    Artur Pytlarz is a PhD student in the School of Languages, Law and Social Sciences at the Technological University Dublin. His research is funded by the Irish Research Council as part of the Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship scheme. Artur holds an MA in Sociology from Wroclaw University and an MA in Criminology from Dublin Institute of Technology. His research interest focuses on the role of rural communities in the process of production of safety in the countryside. He is also interested in the consequences of rapid social changes, typical of the late modern landscape, and its impact on rural resilience. Artur is a co-founder and co-chair of the European Society of Criminology Working Group on Rural Criminology (ERC). He is a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Rural Criminology and a member of the International Society for the Study of Rural Crime.