The Social Roots of School Shootings


By Katherine S. Newman

By Cybelle Fox

By David Harding

By Jal Mehta

By Wendy Roth

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This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around May 4, 2005. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

A distinguished sociologist reveals the warning signs of a school shooter–and why we so often miss them

Parkland. Sandy Hook. Columbine. The list of school shootings gets longer by the day, and it often seems like no school is safe. Over the last decades, school shootings have decimated communities and terrified parents, teachers, and children in even the most family friendly American towns and suburbs.

We talk about these tragedies as the spontaneous acts of disconnected teens, but this important book argues that the roots of violence are deeply entwined in the communities themselves. Drawing on more than 200 interviews with town residents, sociologist Katherine Newman and her co-authors take the reader inside two of the most notorious school shootings of the 1990s, in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and Paducah, Kentucky. In a powerful and original analysis, she demonstrates that the organizational structure of schools encourage administrators to "lose" information about troubled kids, and the very closeness of these small rural towns restrained neighbors and friends from communicating what they knew about their problems.

Rampage challenges the "loner theory" of school violence and shows why so many adults and students miss the warning signs that could prevent it.

On Sale
May 4, 2005
Page Count
424 pages
Basic Books

Katherine S. Newman

About the Author

Katherine S. Newman is the Malcolm Wiener Professor of Urban Studies at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and Dean of Social Science at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She lives in Newton, MA.

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Cybelle Fox

About the Author

Cybelle Fox is a doctoral candidate in the Sociology and Social Policy Program at Harvard University.

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