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Masculinity, rurality and violence

Carrington, Kerry & Scott, John (2008) Masculinity, rurality and violence. British Journal of Criminology, 48(5), pp. 641-666.

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Abstract

The assumption that the size, anonymity and weakened social controls of urban living generates social conflict, disorganization and higher rates of crime and violence has been an article of faith in much criminological and social scientific inquiry since the nineteenth century (i.e. Tönnies 1897; Shaw and McKay 1931; Levin and Lindesmith 1937; Nisbet 1970; Baldwin and Bottoms 1976; Felson 1994). The paper challenges this article of criminological faith and questions the utility of urban centric criminological theorizing about the causes of violence in rural settings. Drawing on descriptive data that show that rural men present a relatively high risk of inflicting harm upon themselves and others, this paper explores the larger socio-criminological question as to why this might be. The question is examined in relation to the processes of community formation that shape the everyday architecture of rural life. We explore how that architecture has historically valorized violent expressions of masculinity grounded in a relationship between men's bodies and the rural landscapes they inhabit - but how the legitimacy of these violent expressions are being challenged by sweeping social, economic and political changes. One psycho-social response to these sweeping social changes to rural life, we conclude, is a resort to violence as a largely strategic practice deployed to recreate an imagined rural gender order.

Impact and interest:

16 citations in Scopus
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12 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 32368
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Masculinity, rural life, violence, social conflict
DOI: 10.1093/bjc/azn031
ISSN: 0007-0955
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Justice
Copyright Owner: © The Authors 2008
Copyright Statement: Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies (ISTD). All rights reserved.
Deposited On: 01 Jun 2010 12:32
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:58

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