How American culture and a sense of ‘aggrieved entitlement’ in males can lead to mass shooters

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Tristan Bridges is an assistant professor of sociology at University of California, Santa Barbara, and Tara Leigh Tober is a lecturer. The two are collaborating on a research project on mass shootings in America.
Bridges and Tober argue that rather than focusing on individual characteristics of mass shooters in America, it’s key to look at the broader picture of American culture.
In particular, as cultural shifts in America gradually erode some privileges that white men have benefitted from, a sense of “aggrieved entitlement” can lead to racist and sexist statements. Mass shootings are a more violent version of this issue.
The following is an excerpt from Bridges’ and Tober’s article “Mass Shootings, Masculinity, and Gun Violence as Feminist Issues,” published in “Feminist Frontiers: Tenth Edition.”
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Boys and men in the US are teased, endure homophobic and other kinds of bullying and emasculation, and sometimes feel that their gender identities are being “threatened.” But boys and men in other nations experience these things as well. So, why is it that mass shootings are so much more common in the US if … it is not only a question of gun control?

To answer this question requires a cultural explanation — one that attends to the unique role that American culture plays in influencing boys and young men to turn to this type of violence so much more often than men anywhere else. To address this necessitates shifting our attention away from the individual characteristics of the shooters themselves to investigate the sociocultural contexts in which violent masculinities are produced and valorized.

Upward mobility remains a popular characterization of American society. But opportunities for some are made possible by systemically and structurally denying those same opportunities to others. This has been true throughout American history, and white …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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