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Mass Shootings Syllabus
A pile of guns and ammunition.
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mass shootings
school shootings
mass murder

How to Cite

Gordon, Karen. 2021. “Mass Shootings Syllabus”. TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology, November. Washington DC: American Sociological Association.


While the public is captivated and horrified by mass shootings, there is disagreement among academics and criminal justice practitioners about how best to define mass shootings. This course begins by examining definitional issues and why these issues matter to our overall understanding of mass violence in the U.S. and abroad. During the course, we will...

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Subject Area(s):
Resource Type(s):
Class Level(s):
College 400
Class Size(s):

Usage Notes

This course has been offered as an elective for upper division undergraduate major and minor students in a criminology and criminal justice program. This course can be offered as an elective in many other programs such as sociology, psychology, or forensic science and adapted to suit instructor needs. If an instructor wishes to offer this as a lower...

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Learning Goals and Assessments

Learning Goal(s):

  1. Compare and contrast research-based realities and common misconceptions about mass shootings
  2. Analyze and evaluate feasible policy approaches to reducing mass shootings through consideration of correlates of mass shootings, political climate, and policy research
  3. Evaluate the role of media in mass shootings, fame-seeking shooters, and fostering of myths about shootings

Goal Assessment(s):

  1. Students will be assessed on their ability to compare and contrast research-based realities with common misconceptions through discussion and reflection assignments
  2. Students will independently review research on proposed policies and correlates of mass shootings to devise feasible policy approaches
  3. Students will work collaboratively and independently to evaluate the role of the media in light of real-world examples and academic research through discussion and reflection assignments

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Cover Page
Requires Subscription DOC
Requires Subscription DOC

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