Intersectionality, Rural Criminology, and Re-imaging the Boundaries of Critical Criminology

Research paper by Kerry Carrington, Joseph F. Donnermeyer, Walter S. DeKeseredy

Indexed on: 10 Sep '14Published on: 10 Sep '14Published in: Critical Criminology


One of the significant shortcomings of the criminological canon, including its critical strands—feminist, cultural and green—has been its urbancentric bias. In this theoretical model, rural communities are idealised as conforming to the typical small-scale traditional societies based on cohesive organic forms of solidarity and close density acquaintance networks. This article challenges the myth that rural communities are relatively crime free places of ‘moral virtue’ with no need for a closer scrutiny of rural context, rural places, and rural peoples about crime and other social problems. This challenge is likewise woven into the conceptual and empirical narratives of the other articles in this Special Edition, which we argue constitute an important body of innovative work, not just for reinvigorating debates in rural criminology, but also critical criminology. For without a critical perspective of place, the realities of context are too easily overlooked. A new criminology of crime and place will help keep both critical criminology and rural criminology firmly anchored in both the sociological and the criminological imagination. We argue that intersectionality, a framework that resists privileging any particular social structural category of analysis, but is cognisant of the power effects of colonialism, class, race and gender, can provide the theoretical scaffolding to further develop such a project.