Confronting Social Constructions of Rural Criminality: A Case Story on 'Illegal Pluriactivity' in the Farming Community

Robert Smith, Gerard Mcelwee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Citations (Scopus)


The accepted social construction of the rural criminal is that of the (alien) urban marauder. In this social script the farmer is presented as the victim of crime. Traditionally, farmers enjoy high levels of social esteem and rarely are they vilified. This case story examines alternative income generating strategies from the margins of agriculture which include theft of animals and property; engaging in the illegal meat trade; trading in illegal medicines and wildlife and dog breeding. This case using ethnographic observation examines the activities of such individuals and documents the phenomenon of an indigenous rural criminal fraternity in Scotland.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-134
Number of pages23
JournalSociologia Ruralis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


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