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Author(s) Altheide, David L.
Year 2009
Title The Columbine Shootings and the Discourse of Fear
Published in American Behavioral Scientist, Vol. 52, No. 10
Pages 1354–1370
DOI 10.1177/0002764209332552
Abstract The tragic events on April 20, 1999, in Littleton, Colorado, provide an opportunity to reflect on the nature and consequences of not just the shootings but also the meanings that were ascribed to various facets of those events, including an emergent definition of the “Columbine Syndrome.” Based on a qualitative media analysis, this article examines part of the public presentations and news accounts of the “meanings of Columbine,” with particular emphasis on violence, crime, youth, popular culture, surveillance, social control, and terrorism. Analysis suggests that Columbine was merged with terrorism as part of the broader frame of fear and national security.
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