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Author(s) Henry, Stuart
Year 2009
Title School Violence Beyond Columbine: A Complex Problem in Need of an Interdisciplinary Analysis
Published in American Behavioral Scientist, Vol. 52, No. 9
Pages 1246–1265
DOI 10.1177/0002764209332544
Abstract Before Columbine, people tended to look at school violence in fragmented ways, which reflected a disciplinary analysis of social problems. Explanations about the causes of school violence tended toward psychological and developmental explanations about why school-age children become violent and social control theory about the lack of attachment and involvement by youth in conventional culture. Corresponding policies to deal with the problem focused on better detection, preemptive intervention, closer supervision, zero tolerance, and peer mediation. This narrow microanalytical framing of the issue failed to consider the multiple causal components of this complex problem, which includes the interrelated role of teachers, school administrators, educational practices and effective pedagogy, school district policy, cultural framing, gendered educational expectations, and the changing state of family and community relations in a postmodern “heartless” society. Taking an interdisciplinary approach suggests simultaneous considerations of the interrelated components constituting the problem from micro to macro and the multiple levels in which the problem is manifest.
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