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Reality on circulation – School shootings, ritualised communication, and the dark side of the sacred

Author(s): Johanna SUMIALA | Minttu TIKKA

Journal: Essachess : Journal for Communication Studies
ISSN 2066-5083

Volume: 4;
Issue: 8;
Start page: 145;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: school shootings | YouTube | Bataille | ritual communication | sacred

In this article, we will examine the ritualised dynamics of communication that emerged around the killer material on YouTube produced in four school shootings in the United States and in Finland: Columbine in 1999, Virginia Tech in 2007, Jokela in 2007, and Kauhajoki in 2008. The scope of the article is media anthropological. The dynamics of the dark digital encounters celebrating violence and misanthropy are discussed through the ideas of French social theorist Georges Bataille (1897–1962) on the constitution of the social through ritualised use of visual representations of violence and torture.
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