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Posted on 12/21/2012 9:16:57 AM PST by Academiadotorg
Professor Glenn W. Muschert of Miami University, Ohio, is a sociologist. He published, in 2007, in Sociology Compass an online peer-reviewed journal, a study he conducted of school shootings.
Some of his conclusions and revelations were astounding. Why it has not attracted more notice is puzzling.
Muschert noted the lack of a holistic approach to analyzing school shootings. He wrote, Studies of school shootings have been conducted in a variety of disciplines, including sociology, psychology, and media studies. However, to date there is no unified body of knowledge about such events.
His study made recommendations to synthesize past studies, and to orient future studies in school shootings. He offered a typology for understanding the varieties of school shooting incidents, including
rampages, mass murders, terrorist attacks, targeted attacks, and government
shootings. He presented a synthesis of the multilevel causes suggested in the research, including those on the individual, community, and social levels.
But he also examined the mass media dynamic of school shootings which reveals some very interesting facts. He said, Scholars from a variety of disciplines have examined aspects of the media dynamic evident in the phenomenon of school shootings. For example, Maguire et al. (2002) examined the relative levels of media attention garnered by various shooting incidents. Two studies (Haider-Markel and Joslyn 2001; Lawrence and Birkland 2004) found that the mass media tended to characterize school shootings as a problem emerging from inadequate gun control legislation, while Samuels (2000) argued that the Columbine shooters actions were guided by the logic of contemporary entertainment media. Lawrence and Birkland (2004) found that political discourse identified mass media as the catalyst for shooting incidents, but Scharrer et al. (2003) demonstrated that the news media tends to absolve itself from responsibility for school shooting incidents. (Emphasis not in the original)
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