The Federation Press

Policing the Rural Crisis


There is a growing sense of crisis in rural ways of life, which manifests itself in economic decline, depopulation, depleted environments, and a crisis of rural identities. Crime is one potent marker of crisis, the more so as it spoils the image of healthy, cohesive community. The social reaction it elicits, the policing of this ‘other rural’, is also a guide to the dimensions of crisis.

The social sciences have witnessed a renewed international interest in the study of ‘other rurals’: the neglected, invisible or excluded aspects of country life. This book brings a fresh approach to the study of crime that challenges the urban-centric assumptions of much western criminology and sociology.

It explores rural crime and social reactions to it, in relation to processes and patterns of community formation and change in rural Australia, including the social, economic, cultural and political forces shaping the history, structure and everyday life of rural communities.

Policing the Rural Crisis is based on five years of extensive original empirical research in rural and regional Australia. It draws on ideas and debates in contemporary social theory across several disciplines, making the analysis relevant to the study of crime and social change elsewhere.


...What Russell Hogg and Kerry Carrington manage, in this painstakingly researched and well-documented study of crime in rural Australia, is to force us to revise all our inchoate images, stereotypes and understandings – of Australia, of crime and of the rural. The strength of their study is that they manage to do this by ‘showing, not telling’, an injunction drummed into all aspiring novelists. This ‘showing’, by an impressive combination of quantitative and qualitative analyses of statistical, ethnographic and secondary data, persuades us that their findings are robust and their critical theoretical starting point is necessary: crime is both a response to changing socio-political and economic realities (the ‘rural crisis’ of the book’s title) and a product of the ‘law and order’ reaction to crisis (the ‘policing’ of the title). - Tony Jefferson, Professor of Criminology, Keele University, UK - From the Foreword

Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
List of Acronyms
Departures from criminological and sociological urbanism: An introduction
The Making of Rural Australia
Crime in Rural Communities
Talking About Rural Communities
Talking About Crime
Rurality’s Visible Other: Crime and Indigenous Communities
Rurality’s Invisible Other: Violence and Whiteness
Violence, Masculinities and the Rural Gender Order
Policing the Rural Crisis
Appendix - Researching Crime in Rural Communities


Of interest...