Author(s) Heitmeyer, Wilhelm
Böckler, Nils
Seeger, Thorsten
Year 2013
Title Social Disintegration, Loss of Control, and School Shootings
Published in Böckler, Nils, et al. (eds.): School Shootings - International Research, Case Studies, and Concepts for Prevention; Springer, New York.
ISBN 9781461455257
Pages 27–54
DOI 10.1007/978-1-4614-5526-4_2
Abstract A critical discussion of the controllability of school shootings on the basis of the thesis of double loss of control, composed of elements of social disintegration theory, youth theory, and control theory. Using the research findings to date, it is shown that school shootings are largely caused by negative recognition balances in the spheres of socialization of family, school, and peer group, and thus by the perpetrator’s loss of control over his own life. On the other side, society sees itself confronted with the impossibility of systematically controlling a violent phenomenon of this kind, because the interaction of incident-generating processes is largely hidden from view and is genuinely rooted in structural causes. The primary public response involving ritualized explanations and repressive strategies may generate a welcome illusion of control, but turns a blind eye to the devastating counterproductive consequences.
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