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Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the complex interplay between the media, school shootings and society from the perspective of mediatization of the…
Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the complex interplay between the media, school shootings and society from the perspective of mediatization of the victim. In mediatization of the victim, the media, in a crisis, plays a key role in connecting people, disseminating information, compiling a security-related picture and providing for potential new emergencies.
Design/approach – The chapter draws on Winfried Schulz's (2004) typology for the analysis of mediatization of the victim in the multidimensional manner. It examines how mediatization works in practice by applying Schulz's typology in the analysis of the two school shootings in Finland in Jokela in 2007 and in Kauhajoki in 2008. The empirical material consists of interviews with police, state and municipal officials and people from non-governmental organizations. Media materials (electronic and print) were collected from the major Finnish media houses and several state and community official web sites.
Findings – The chapter argues that the media shapes the construction of the victim in the process of mediatization and makes the role of victim and witness both central and ambiguous. The chapter concludes by drawing upon the work of French sociologist Luc Boltanski (1999) on morality, media and politics as it identifies the ways in which mediatization engages the affective potential of the spectator and evokes a specific disposition to act upon the suffering, thus, creating a moralizing effect on the spectator.
Originality/value – The chapter produces new theoretical and empirical knowledge on the complex interplay between the media, school shootings and society by discussing it from the perspective of the victim. Consequently, it contributes in deepening our understanding of the process of mediatization and the place of the victim in it in the case of violent crisis such as school shootings.
This book contributes to the current academic discussion on school shootings by analysing this contemporary phenomenon in a broader context of media saturation in…
This book contributes to the current academic discussion on school shootings by analysing this contemporary phenomenon in a broader context of media saturation in contemporary social and cultural life. We argue that in order to understand school shootings as a cultural and sociological phenomenon, we need to analyse this type of public violence from a variety of academic perspectives. By drawing on a range of empirical analyses of different school shooting incidents in the United States, Germany, Finland, and Canada, the authors in this volume demonstrate the diverse ways in which the media and school shootings are connected in contemporary society. Numerous frameworks are applied in these original analyses, including media violence, journalism, visual culture, and social networking. Our shared goal is to understand the complex interplay between media, society and school shootings, and certainly how this interaction is carried out in a range of cultural and societal contexts and settings.
The way in which criminologists understand, contextualise and theorise around the mediatised world has raised some critical new questions. The purpose of this paper is to…
The way in which criminologists understand, contextualise and theorise around the mediatised world has raised some critical new questions. The purpose of this paper is to report on qualitative research which looks at the ways in which some forms of social media are utilised by gang members. Gang research in the main is predicated on the notion that gangs are deviant products of social disorganisation; however, there is little written on the “specific” forms of expression used by those associated with gangs.
The lyrical content of three music videos has been analysed using narrative analysis.
Music videos have been used as a form of expression for decades. More recently in some cases they have been used as a tool to send threats, promote gang culture and flaunt illegal substances, which is fairly a new concept, in the UK at least. Social media and music videos are not the sole reason why there has been a rise in violence amongst young people; however, this paper aims to further explore some of these notions.
The authors suggest that this form of expression presents challenges in the understanding of gang activity in a mediatised world. The intention is not to further criminalise young people, but to seek understanding and explore the phenomenon of music videos and its position their gang research.
No genre of news reporting generates the same pressures as covering trauma. Multiple casualty incidents, such as the school shootings that are the subject of this volume…
No genre of news reporting generates the same pressures as covering trauma. Multiple casualty incidents, such as the school shootings that are the subject of this volume, challenge reporters to find words for the results of actions that might more naturally be described as unspeakable. To paraphrase MacDuff's reactions to the murder at the court of MacBeth in Shakespeare's play, what take place in the familiar, supposedly safe and mundane settings of school classrooms and corridors are horrors that neither ‘heart nor tongue can conceive of’. For journalists such incidents raise acute ethical and practical dilemmas about how to approach and interview victims and survivors in ways that are less likely to add unnecessarily to their distress. Then there are the news choices which have to be made: how does one produce narratives that are informative and compelling but that avoid playing into the agendas of the perpetrators or inspiring copycat behaviour? And on top of that – what responsibilities do news editors owe the public in assisting them to digest information which may tear through their assumptions that the world is, for the most part, a stable and orderly place?
Purpose – The Columbine and Virginia Tech shootings have presented new challenges in how the media covers school shootings. These events have transformed Eric Harris…
Purpose – The Columbine and Virginia Tech shootings have presented new challenges in how the media covers school shootings. These events have transformed Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, and Seung-Hui Cho not only from disgruntled youth to school killers, but also into actors, writers, and directors of their own narrative.
Methodology/approach – This article focuses on the role of the masculine identity and underlying messages in the communicative process of the shooters. Further examination looks at what particular messages the shooters are communicating through the media. This includes an analysis into their journals, internet postings, and videos that were left behind as archives of the performative scripts. Finally, reflection is presented in terms of which parts of the shooters’ messages are or are not communicated and why.
Findings – This article considers the differences in the Columbine and Virginia Tech cases in terms of who is controlling the information that gets released to the public. In the case of Columbine, information was or was not released by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, whereas in the case of Virginia Tech, nearly all decisions regarding material release was made by the media (particularly NBC News).
Originality/value of paper – This article applies Muschert and Ragnedda's (2010) examination of cultural scripts to two benchmark cases, examining the mediatization of the shooters’ own words.
School rampage shootings are acts of terrorism. As Walter Laqueur (1977) noted, “…Terrorists’ attitudes toward the media as a whole have been friendly, and with good…
School rampage shootings are acts of terrorism. As Walter Laqueur (1977) noted, “…Terrorists’ attitudes toward the media as a whole have been friendly, and with good reason. The success of a terrorist operation depends almost entirely on the amount of publicity it receives” (p. 109, emphasis added). School rampage shootings qualitatively changed after Columbine from merely realized revenge fantasies to orchestrated media events (Larkin, 2009). Laqueur noted in reference to terrorist acts that they are “propaganda by deed” (1977, p. 49). The more outrageous the act, the more “senseless” in terms of conventional interpretations of reality, the greater the body count, the larger and more intense the media feeding frenzy. Innocent victims are thus sacrificed to the perpetrators’ need to be recognized and to be taken seriously. In the wake of (Columbine shooters) Harris and Klebold's “Basement Tapes,” videotapes of their activities and fantasies, web pages, diaries, doodles, lists, and even school paper assignments, it is now incumbent on any rampage shooter to produce a manifesto, videotapes, pictures, websites, and messages in any newly invented medium to vent his anger, frustration, theory of revolution, and rationale for his act. I use the term “his” because rampage shootings are, in part, a response to a crisis in hegemonic masculinity (Kellner, 2008; Kimmel & Mahler, 2003; Larkin, 2011), which has been mentioned by several researchers in this volume.