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The Rhetoric of Rurality

Crossroads of Rural Crime

ISBN: 978-1-80043-645-9, eISBN: 978-1-80043-644-2

Publication date: 19 May 2021


This chapter examines narratives and representations of rural Australia deployed by political actors. At both federal and state levels in Australia, political parties tend to focus their attention on metropolitan electorates in their public discussions, particularly during election campaigns. This has led to accusations from minor parties and independents that rural areas are ignored by governments based in capital cities. The Nationals, for example, presents itself as the party whose primary motivation is to protect the interests of rural voters. Rural sites are political spaces shaped by particular types of narrative and rhetoric. Engaging with how the ‘rural’ is represented through rhetoric and image is useful for understanding how crime is positioned. This chapter uses rhetorical political analysis and representation to understand how political ideas about rurality are expressed through language and imagery. The political context outlined in this chapter is one factor that affects the nature and complexities of rural crime and responses to it. Rural Australia is at its own political crossroad, reflected in the emergence of competing narratives for the bush, defined here as a contest between ‘rural centrism’ and ‘rural populism’.



Strating, R. (2021), "The Rhetoric of Rurality", Harkness, A. and White, R. (Ed.) Crossroads of Rural Crime, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 121-134.



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