The Columbine Shootings and the Discourse of Fear

  title={The Columbine Shootings and the Discourse of Fear},
  author={David L. Altheide},
  journal={American Behavioral Scientist},
  pages={1354 - 1370}
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… 
Mass Shootings as Terrorism in an Era of Homeland Security
The purpose of this chapter is to examine the nature and scope of mass shootings in the United States. These incidents are discussed with respect to the criteria by which they are classified as mass
American Gun Culture, School Shootings, and a “Frontier Mentality”: An Ideological Analysis of British Editorial Pages in the Decade After Columbine
The problem of school shootings has attracted extensive media attention, especially since the Columbine shooting, a watershed event that pushed the issue of school shootings to the forefront of media
Trapped in the Carceral Net: Race, Gender, and the “War on Terror”
The events of September 11, 2001 unleashed a series of security measures designed ostensibly to protect Western nations from terrorist attacks. Many of these measures were aimed at keeping out
Columbine School Shooting
Discussed within this chapter are the news media and policy responses to the first of the three case studies, the Columbine school shooting. Outlined is the ‘children and guns’ frame in news media
Mass Shooting and Misogyny
It is the violent ideology Americans cannot ignore. This hate and extremism overwhelming reside in males. Disproportionately committed by males, gun violence, as shown by data, reveals that misogyny
Framing mass shootings as a social problem: A comparison of ideologically and non-ideologically motivated attacks
Abstract Typically regarded as separate phenomena, recent events suggest that mass shootings and terrorism may not be as distinct as previously believed. Given that most members of the public never
Assessing the influence of the Columbine shooting on federal sentencing outcomes
Abstract School shootings are not a new phenomenon in the United States or internationally. In comparison to other acts of violence experienced by youth, such tragedies are uncommon but garner
Contemporary Society and the Phenomenon of School Rampage Shootings in the United States: A Theoretical Approach to Understanding
  • Eileen S. Johnson
  • Sociology
    School Violence in International Contexts
  • 2019
In this chapter, the author explores what is currently known about the history and prevalence of school rampage shootings, its putative causes, and implications for social and educational policy as
In Search of Meaning: Are School Rampage Shootings Random and Senseless Violence?
  • Eric Madfis
  • Psychology, Medicine
    The Journal of psychology
  • 2017
The academic literature on school rampage shootings is reviewed and the extent to which these attacks are and are not random acts of violence is explored.
The differential portrayal of ‘sympathetic’ homicide victims in the media
The over-representation of crime is a prevalent occurrence in the media; so too is the under-representation of certain types of victims of crime. The purpose of the current study is to explore the


The Columbine Victims and the Myth of the Juvenile Superpredator
This study examines the news media coverage of the 1999 Columbine school shootings, as a component of a noted crime myth of the juvenile superpredator. Thematic content analysis was conducted on 683
The Abandoned Generation: Democracy Beyond the Culture of Fear
The terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, dramatically transformed the face of American culture in a variety of important ways. They shattered the widely held assumption, for
Threatened Children: Rhetoric and Concern about Child-Victims
Child abuse, incest, child molestation, Halloween sadism, child pornography: although clearly not new problems, they have attracted more attention than ever before. "Threatened Children "asks why.
Research in School Shootings
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
The Child Savers: The Invention of Delinquency
"The Child Savers deeply influenced me and dozens of other feminist scholars who have studied social policy critically. This reissue is remarkable in allowing us to rethink it, and nowhere more
Children and the Discourse of Fear
The news media, a dominant source of information about social issues, use entertainment formats to organize reports that audiences will understand. Part of this organized effort is the use of a
Media Salience and Frame Changing across Events: Coverage of Nine School Shootings, 1997–2001
This study applies the two-dimensional analytical framework suggested by Chyi and McCombs to assess its utility in studying frame-changing across similar events and between more and less salient
On being sane in insane places
Two matters seem to have some promise, one of which concerns the proliferation of community mental health facilities, and the need to increase the sensitivity of mental health workers and researchers to the Catch 22 position of psychiatric patients.
Making an Issue of Child Abuse: Political Agenda Setting for Social Problems
In this absorbing story of how child abuse grew from a small, private-sector charity concern into a multimillion-dollar social welfare issue, Barbara Nelson provides important new perspectives on the