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“Social Recognition, Identity Crises, and School Shooting in Germany: An Analysis of Internet Entries of Sebastian Bosse”

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Abstract:

This paper formulates and assesses an explanation of school shootings that directs attention to the processes of denied social recognition and resulting identity crises. I argue that juveniles who commit school shootings have failed to progress through the normal stages of adult identity construction because of feelings of not being recognized and respected. I further propose that this failure mainly derives from interactions at school with teachers and peers. The identity crises generate feelings of powerlessness, weakness, hopelessness and societal exclusion. A school shooting fulfils several functions for the perpetrator. First, it compensates for feelings of powerlessness, weakness, and helplessness when the adolescent ‘plays’ being a masculine offender who can decide who lives and who dies. Second, the anticipated attention by the media after a shooting may serve as a post mortem recognition which compensates for feelings of not being recognized when alive. Third, the identification with former shooters may create a feeling of belonging to a fantasized violent subculture. I evaluate the utility of this theoretical account through an analysis of internet entries (videos, suicide note and internet diary) which were made by an 18 year old German student, Sebastian Bosse, who committed a school shooting in November 2006.
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Name: ASC Annual Meeting
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http://www.asc41.com


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p262076_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Kaletta, Barbara. "“Social Recognition, Identity Crises, and School Shooting in Germany: An Analysis of Internet Entries of Sebastian Bosse”" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASC Annual Meeting, St. Louis Adam's Mark, St. Louis, Missouri, <Not Available>. 2014-11-30 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p262076_index.html>

APA Citation:

Kaletta, B. "“Social Recognition, Identity Crises, and School Shooting in Germany: An Analysis of Internet Entries of Sebastian Bosse”" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASC Annual Meeting, St. Louis Adam's Mark, St. Louis, Missouri <Not Available>. 2014-11-30 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p262076_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: This paper formulates and assesses an explanation of school shootings that directs attention to the processes of denied social recognition and resulting identity crises. I argue that juveniles who commit school shootings have failed to progress through the normal stages of adult identity construction because of feelings of not being recognized and respected. I further propose that this failure mainly derives from interactions at school with teachers and peers. The identity crises generate feelings of powerlessness, weakness, hopelessness and societal exclusion. A school shooting fulfils several functions for the perpetrator. First, it compensates for feelings of powerlessness, weakness, and helplessness when the adolescent ‘plays’ being a masculine offender who can decide who lives and who dies. Second, the anticipated attention by the media after a shooting may serve as a post mortem recognition which compensates for feelings of not being recognized when alive. Third, the identification with former shooters may create a feeling of belonging to a fantasized violent subculture. I evaluate the utility of this theoretical account through an analysis of internet entries (videos, suicide note and internet diary) which were made by an 18 year old German student, Sebastian Bosse, who committed a school shooting in November 2006.


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