Author(s) Böckler, Nils
Seeger, Thorsten
Sitzer, Peter
Year 2012
Title Media Dynamics in School Shootings: A Socialization Theory Perspective
Published in Muschert, Glenn W. & Sumiala, Johanna (eds.): School Shootings - Mediatized Violence in a Global Age; Emerald Group Publishing, Bingley.
ISBN 9781780529189
Pages 25–46
Abstract Purpose – The relationship of media influences and school shootings is analyzed on the background of an integrating metatheoretical framework, derived from socialization theory and a media appropriation model grounded in action theory.

Design/approach – Empirical findings and dynamic models of the significance of the media in the genesis of school shootings are integrated into the framework based on a review of the literature. Special focus is placed on the subjective functionality of the perpetrators’ prior media use, which is examined for its dependence on individual, cultural/societal, and interpersonal factors.

Findings – School shootings are a form of extreme violence where monocausal explanations fall short and cannot adequately account for the complex multifactorial causes of the phenomenon. However, we come to the conclusion that particular media do play a special role in the origination of school shootings, but in a way that can only be adequately comprehended if they are examined in connection with specific individual, socio-cultural, and interpersonal dynamics.

Originality/value – The chapter presents a conceptual frame within which possible relationships between media influence and school shootings are identified in the socialization contexts of the adolescent perpetrators.

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