The Role of Media Content in the Genesis of School Shootings: The Contemporary Discussion

Chapter

Abstract

This literature review provides an overview of scholarly debate on the role of media content in the genesis of school shootings. It begins by showing that the idea that media depictions of violence have a general violence-promoting effect is scientifically contested. Published research is inconclusive on the question whether school shooters represent a risk group with a special susceptibility to negative effects of violent media content, but empirical findings supply clear indications that reporting of school shootings, especially in the mass media and the internet, can disseminate scripts potentially connected with copycat acts. The concept of cultural scripts of hegemonic masculinity explains why school shootings are committed predominantly by young males and accounts for the importance of a prior interest in violent media content and school shootings. Given the public communicative dimension of these acts and the enormous media attention they attract, there is a case for critical consideration of the way they are treated in the media.

Keywords

Depression Trench Topo Prep Kato 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Educational Science/Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and ViolenceUniversity of BielefeldBielefeldGermany

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