In November 2009, scholars from different parts of the world converged on Helsinki for the Conference on Social Violence in the Network Society. Among those who participated were scholars in a variety of fields who have examined the media/communications dynamic of school shootings. This volume is the outgrowth of those discussions begun in that venue.1 Three years later, while the contributors to this volume were drafting their chapters, there was a 3 week period in late-March/early-April 2012 in which three events relevant to the topic of this volume occurred in three divergent settings. Case 1: in Toulouse, France a male serial killer murders three children at the Jewish Ozar Hatorah secondary school. The police besiege the killer and kill him after a violent standoff. The case makes news all over Europe, and beyond. Case 2: the Finnish news media tell the story of a young man who attacks a high school in the small town of Orivesi, Western Finland. Nobody is killed in the shooting, but the local community is shocked. The police catch the perpetrator, who claims his motive was to violate his ex-girlfriend, a student at the high school. Case 3: International news breaks about another school shooting at Oikos University in Oakland, California. The perpetrator, a former student of the school, kills seven people and injures several. The police later catch him, and when interviewed he claims he was bullied at school. Are these cases part of a unified phenomenon, or is their coincidence random?
Muschert, G.W. and Sumiala, J. (2012), "Preface", Muschert, G.W. and Sumiala, J. (Ed.) School Shootings: Mediatized Violence in a Global Age (Studies in Media and Communications, Vol. 7), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. xiii-xiv. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2050-2060(2012)0000007003
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited