Rural Criminology: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Rural Criminology

1st Edition

By Joseph F Donnermeyer, Walter DeKeseredy


178 pages | 6 B/W Illus.

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Rural crime is a fast growing area of interest among scholars in criminology. From studies of agricultural crime in Australia, to violence against women in Appalachia America, to poaching in Uganda, to land theft in Brazil -- the criminology community has come to recognize that crime manifests itself in rural localities in ways that both conform to and challenge conventional theory and research. For the first time, Rural Criminology brings together contemporary research and conceptual considerations to synthesize rural crime studies from a critical perspective.

This book dispels four rural crime myths, challenging conventional criminological theories about crime in general. It also examines both the historical development of rural crime scholarship, recent research and conceptual developments. The third chapter recreates the critical in the rural criminology literature through discussions of three important topics: community characteristics and rural crime, drug use, production and trafficking in the rural context, and agricultural crime.

Never before has rural crime been examined comprehensively, using any kind of theoretical approach, whether critical or otherwise. Rural Criminology does both, pulling together in one short volume the diverse array of empirical research under the theoretical umbrella of a critical perspective. This book will be of interest to those studying or researching in the fields of rural crime, critical criminology and sociology.


"Donnermeyer and DeKeseredy make a convincing case that critical criminology offers a theoretical frame that links macro-level issues to micro-level behaviors, and provide an important synthesis of conceptual and empirical studies of rural crime. The authors offer a counterpoint to traditional approaches to criminology but also construct an excellent argument for including ecological and structural factors to help understand crime in rural settings. Rural sociologists and criminologists will find this volume both relevant and challenging. Highly recommended."

A. A. Hickey, Western Carolina University, Choice Magazine

"Rural Criminology makes a refreshing and unique contribution to our understanding of rural crime, and of crime in general. The authors provide a comprehensive overview of the literature on rural crime, using a critical perspective to frame that overview, and in the process challenge some deeply held myths about rural crime."

Dr. Ralph Weisheit is a Distinguished Professor of Criminal Justice at Illinois State University.

"It’s time for criminology to recognise the importance of the rural. Deconstructing the mythology about rural places and emphasising the diversity of crime and perpetrators affecting them, Donnermeyer and DeKeseredy have produced a long-overdue and critical rural criminology. This is a richly rewarding book covering numerous topics from crime prevention to indigenous justice, and from rural policing to the impacts of the crimes of the powerful. An immediate ‘classic’ contribution to contemporary criminology."

Nigel South, Professor of Sociology, University of Essex, UK

"This book explodes the many myths that abound about rural crime and violence; illustrates how to think critically about rural crime and localised systems of social control; and advances novel ways of re-conceptualising policy and practice in divergent (not homogenous) rural contexts.

Rural Criminology challenges criminological and sociological assumptions that have been ingrained in these disciplines for more than a century. It is a welcome and much overdue contribution, which extends criminology beyond its historically narrow focus on crime in cities. Rural Criminology is essential reading for a wide range of students, policy analysts and scholars across criminology, sociology, cultural studies, gender studies, and social policy more generally."

Professor Kerry Carrington is Head of the School of Justice at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia.

Table of Contents

1. Rural crime: myths and realities, 2. Thinking critically about rural crime, 3. Creating the critical in Rural Criminology, 4. Looking forward and glancing back: research, policy and practice.

About the Authors

Walter S. DeKeseredy is Professor of Criminology, Justice and Policy Studies at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. He has published 18 books and over 140 scientific journal articles and book chapters on violence against women and other social problems. In 2008, the Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma gave him the Linda Saltzman Memorial Intimate Partner Violence Researcher Award. In 1995, he received the Critical Criminologist of the Year Award from the ASC’s Division on Critical Criminology (DCC) and in 2008 the DCC gave him the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Joseph F. Donnermeyer is Professor at Ohio State University and Director and International Research Coordinator of the Centre for Rural Crime. Dr. Donnermeyer has conducted research on levels of victimization and attitudes toward crime among rural people, the extent and pattern of offending by rural populations, especially youth, and crime against agricultural operations. He is the author (co-author) of over 100 peer reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and books on issues related to rural crime and rural societies.

About the Series

New Directions in Critical Criminology

Critical criminology has gone through a number of significant changes since its birth in the early 1970s. New Directions in Critical Criminology provides authoritative original essays on major contemporary issues of central concern to critical criminologists around the world. Each book examines new areas of empirical and theoretical inquiry, and sets out an agenda for innovative progressive ways of thinking critically about crime, law, and social control.

These books are specifically designed to be useful resources for undergraduate and post-graduate students, researchers, and policy makers.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Rural