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Techniques of neutralising wildlife crime in rural England and Wales

Enticott, Gareth Paul ORCID: 2011. Techniques of neutralising wildlife crime in rural England and Wales. Journal of Rural Studies 27 (2) , pp. 200-208. 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2011.01.005

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Within rural studies there have been few attempts to critically analyse crimes against nature. This paper addresses this gap by providing an analysis of farmers’ reasons for illegally culling badgers in the United Kingdom. Drawing on Sykes and Matza’s (1957) concepts of neutralisation and drift, the paper shows how farmers rationalise this activity. Using in-depth interviews with 61 farmers in the England and Wales, the paper shows how they justify badger culling through discursive strategies that claim the activity is necessary, deny the necessity of the law, condemning the condemners, and appealing to community loyalties The paper also shows that neutralisation helps identify contextual factors that allow farmers to drift ambiguously between deviant values and social norms. In the case of badger culling, drift is attributable to an attack on a particular rural identity and way of living that has left farmers perceiving their selves as an effect. As much as they are attempts to rationalise criminal behaviour, neutralisation techniques can also be seen as spatial discourses demarcating the boundaries of cultural and spatial identities. In conclusion, the paper discusses the implications for resolving the problems of wildlife crime.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society (BRASS)
Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
Uncontrolled Keywords: Wildlife crime; Badgers; Rural identity; Agriculture; Neutralisation techniques; Bovine tuberculosis
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0743-0167
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2022 14:33

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