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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Resisting shotgun pedagogies : understanding the racialized, gendered, colonial (and healing) dimensions of public mass gun violence in the United States Glick, Stephanie


Drawing on philosophical inquiry, this manuscript-based dissertation examines the phenomenon of public mass gun violence (PMGV) in the United States—a crime most often committed by White men. While each chapter is an individual piece of academic writing addressing specific research goals, each chapter also builds off of the previous one conceptually and theoretically, allowing microscopic and macroscopic perspectives on PMGV to come into focus concurrently. Chapter 2 provides a present-day overview of gun violence in the United States. It asks: How are mass shootings that take place in public spaces narrated in the US? How do the various means for calculating differing forms of gun violence in the US impact White communities and communities of Color disproportionately? I illustrate how methods for calculating gun violence further pathologize marginalized groups and how this has implications for schools. Chapter 3 investigates the historical mechanisms that foster PMGV in the United States today. Drawing on decolonial theory, and critical theory, among others, I argue that PMGV is an intergenerational consequence that originates from the founding of the country on the violence of colonization, coloniality, and slavery. I situate the PMGV shooter’s identity as connected to the colonial systems of power that were once intended to benefit him. I argue that when the shooter feels he is denied these social privileges, he retaliates via PMGV against those he symbolically perceives to have deprived him. Drawing on the harms of colonial divisions outlined in Chapter 3, Chapter 4 inquires: If PMGV reflects a deep societal wound stemming from colonization and coloniality, what considerations can we engage to prevent violence and promote healing? I offer vistas for stepping into alternative ways of knowing that could lead to mending divisions and thwarting violence. In Chapter 5, I provide implications for teacher education, professional development, and curriculum reform. Collectively, this work disrupts limited narratives about PMGV that otherwise impede investigations into the roles of whiteness, colonization, coloniality, and masculinity in fostering the phenomenon. The work also offers vistas for tending to the violence preventatively.

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