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Preventing school violence in Sweden and the US. What can we learn from Kungälv and Sandy Hook?
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy. Stockholm University.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8186-3662
University of California, Berkeley, USA.
Gothenburg University, Sweden.
2015 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Policies to prevent school violence in Sweden and in the United States are different, yet alike. In the US, school violence seems to be a growing problem but in Sweden it is decreasing. Not only has the US had substantially more school shootings; they have also implemented more preventive measures to combat school violence. This paper examines how school violence is handled in Sweden and the United States. The study is based on qualitative content analysis of educational steering documents and interviews with middle school and high school principals. Both in Sweden and the US, a crime perspective (where students are increasingly subjected to zero tolerance policies that are used primarily to punish, repress and exclude them), dominates how violence is treated and handled in schools. In the US students are increasingly subjected to a “crime complex” where harsh disciplinary practices by security staff increasingly replace normative functions teachers once provided both in and outside of the classroom. One obvious difference between the two countries is the emergence of a great number of federal and state laws in the US, such as the Gun-Free Schools Act of 1994. Schools in the US are also increasingly turning towards alternative methods like restorative justice as a mean for creating safer schools and social equity. One main point of the paper is also that the key to violence prevention might be found in a comparison of how normalized masculinity is operating in everyday dynamics, rather than differences in policies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
school violence, victimology, crime prevention
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-166161OAI: diva2:809384
72th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology, 18-21 November, 2015, Washington, USA
Postdoc grant (FORTE): Violence and Threat Risk Assessment in three government agencies
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2013-1670

QS 2015

Available from: 2015-05-03 Created: 2015-05-03 Last updated: 2015-05-20Bibliographically approved

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