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Gendering violence in the school shootings in Finland

  • Johanna Kantola
  • Ov Cristian Norocel
  • Jemima Repo
Publishing year: 2011-05-01
Language: English
Pages: 183-197
Publication/Series: European Journal of Women's Studies
Volume: 18
Issue: 2
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: SAGE Publications

Abstract english

Within barely a year, two school shootings shook Finland. The school shootings shocked Finnish society, forcing media, academics and experts, police and politicians alike to search for reasons behind the violent incidents. Focusing their analysis on the two main Finnish newspapers, Helsingin Sanomat and Hufvudstadsbladet, authoritative sources of information for Finland's two language communities, the authors maintain that the Finnish case contributes to research on school shootings by evidencing the intimate linkages between the state, gender and violence. The authors argue that violence is to be understood through different discourses about the Finnish state. In particular, they discern three discourses about the state that produce gendered discourses of violence: the welfare state, the realist state and the neoliberal state. The authors conclude that these discourses produce different notions of rational and irrational violence thereby providing different legitimizations for male-embodied/masculine violence.


  • Gender Studies
  • Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
  • Finland
  • gender
  • masculinities
  • school shootings
  • state
  • violence


  • ISSN: 1350-5068
Cristian Norocel
E-mail: cristian [dot] norocel [at] genus [dot] lu [dot] se

Associate senior lecturer

Department of Gender Studies


Department of Gender Studies
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Faculty of Social Sciences