Suicide by mass murder: Masculinity, aggrieved entitlement, and rampage school shootings

Abstract

School shootings have become more common in the United States in recent years. Yet, as media portrayals of these 'rampages' shock the public, the characterisation of this violence obscures an important point: many of these crimes culminate in suicide, and they are almost universally committed by males.

We examine three recent American cases, which involve suicide, to elucidate how the culture of hegemonic masculinity in the US creates a sense of aggrieved entitlement conducive to violence. This sense of entitlement simultaneously frames suicide as an appropriate, instrumental behaviour for these males to underscore their violent enactment of masculinity.

Authors

Rachel Kalish
Department of Sociology, SUNY Stony Brook, Stony Brook NY, United States of America

Michael Kimmel
Department of Sociology, SUNY Stony Brook, Stony Brook NY, United States of America

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Keywords

sociology; masculinity; mass murder; suicide; school shootings

Meta

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