Rampage School Shootings

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Book Chapter


We introduce readers to the social problem of rampage school shootings and discuss the associated patterns, causes, and best practices for their prevention. While media coverage might suggest otherwise, rampage shootings at schools are extremely rare, even if they often yield much carnage and anxiety. At the individual level, some have focused on the mental illnesses or personality disorders of rampage killers. At the macro-sociological level, others have clarified the role that masculinity and widespread acceptance of gun culture play in reinforcing and legitimizing violence. Some scholars have recently attempted to achieve a more multifaceted, holistic, and cross-disciplinary understanding of the causes of school rampages. Moreover, the so-called copycat phenomenon is now recognized as a factor in a number of high-profile, high–body count murders. In order to avert future rampage attacks, schools must seek to forge genuinely positive school climates that encourage student bystanders to intervene in a responsible manner. © Cambridge University Press 2018.

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The Cambridge Handbook of Social Problems



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