Youth (and) Violence

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Abstract

Youth violence is a major concern. Everyday the news and entertainment media feeds the public a fresh supply of school shootings, stabbings at house parties and random gun violence involving young people. These narratives do not just entertain, they fundamentally alter our existence. But, should they? Are our fears warranted? This essay considers how youth violence shapes our ontology, that is, the way we view and interact with our world. Towards this end, I examine the prevalence of violence in North American society. However, before sliding into this discussion, I highlight the nuances involved in asking the question, ‘what is violence’? Next, I ask what is the aetiology or ‘causes’ of violence? This section surveys a variety of experts on the subject including: Freud, sociologists, criminologists and philosophers. I conclude by suggesting that violence is irreverent and to begin an exegesis requires that we, all of us, avow all life.

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