Crime in rural Australia

Barclay, Elaine, Donnermeyer, Joseph F, Scott, John, & Hogg, Russell (2007) Crime in rural Australia. Federation Press, Annandale, N.S.W.

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As an academic who has spent a quarter of a century living, lecturing and researching in a rural community, I am often impressed by the discrepancies between the reality of rural life and its image in the public consciousness. At least two aspects of this are the most striking. First, there is often - especially, but not exclusively in English-speaking societies - the idea that rural communities represent the "real" or "true" aspects of a society's culture. For example, judging by the representations of rural Australia in the media, rural life is where we find the true Australian, the laconic, taciturn, but decent everyday man and woman, the "battlers", who are not corrupted by urban life. Such an attribution of genuineness to rurality is especially interesting given that the vast majority of contemporary Australians live in cities and that Australia is one of the most urbanised countries in the world. Second, and following from the first point, is the idea that rural areas remain somewhat behind the times, that somehow they are not quite part of the contemporary world. This is a mixed image as it combines both the negative idea of backwardness with the more positive one of a society that has not lost the virtues of stability and civility that we often feel is missing in the city. Both of these ideas combine in the popular image of rural communities as safe places in an increasingly dangerous world. In the popular mind it seems that there is an idea that whatever rural communities may lack in conveniences and sophistication, they remain places where you might walk down the street safely, leave your doors unlocked at night and raise your children confident that they will not be exposed to drugs, gangs and violence. Unfortunately, all of these ideas are fantasies. There is no reason to believe that the residents of rural communities are anymore the truer representations of Australian culture than the average suburbanite.

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ID Code: 79046
Item Type: Book
Keywords: Rural crimes, Police, Rural
ISBN: 9781862876354, 1862876355
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: Contact the author
Deposited On: 12 Jan 2015 03:57
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2015 14:15

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