A Linguistic Analysis of Mass Shooter Journals, Diaries, Correspondence, and Manifestos

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dc.contributor Tullett, Alexa
dc.contributor Lichtenstein, Bronwen
dc.contributor.advisor Lankford, Adam
dc.contributor.author Duong, Hillary
dc.date.accessioned 2022-04-13T20:33:55Z
dc.date.available 2022-04-13T20:33:55Z
dc.date.issued 2020
dc.identifier.other http://purl.lib.ua.edu/182071
dc.identifier.other u0015_0000001_0004224
dc.identifier.other Duong_alatus_0004M_14253
dc.identifier.uri https://ir.ua.edu/handle/123456789/8403
dc.description Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
dc.description.abstract Mass shootings often result in panic and calls for increased public safety. Past research has focused on the motives and ambitions of the shooters in hopes of determining their rationale for prevention, while other studies have looked to create a consistent mass shooter profile using artifacts such as suicide notes, medical history, and/or testimonies from the shooters’ friends and family. Written communications by mass shooters (suicide notes, manifestos, diaries, journals, and letters) are a pivotal resource because they allow researchers to investigate the shooters’ motives from their point of view while also providing data for analysis. This study looked to examine the written communications of mass shooters through linguistic analysis to answer the following research questions. First, what are some of the common themes found in the written communications of mass shooters. Second, for each of the common themes found, do mass shooters who expressed that theme differ from those who did not with regards to select linguistic dimensions? I identified the writing themes in each writing sample, then quantitatively assessed linguistic word categories using the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) tool for content analysis. Using an independent samples t test, I found mass shooters who expressed suicidal desires were less likely to use words referencing the past than mass shooters who did not express suicidal desires. This study looked to contribute to the body of literature by applying the writing themes found in earlier studies to the written communications of strictly mass shooters.
dc.format.medium electronic
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher University of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections
dc.relation.hasversion born digital
dc.rights All rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subject.other Linguistic Analysis
dc.subject.other Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count
dc.subject.other Manifestos
dc.subject.other Mass Shooter
dc.subject.other Suicide Notes
dc.subject.other Writing Themes
dc.title A Linguistic Analysis of Mass Shooter Journals, Diaries, Correspondence, and Manifestos
dc.type thesis
dc.type text
etdms.degree.department University of Alabama. Department of Criminal Justice
etdms.degree.discipline Criminology
etdms.degree.grantor The University of Alabama
etdms.degree.level master’s
etdms.degree.name M.S.


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