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ERIC Number: EJ949251
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Dec
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 60
ISSN: ISSN-0362-6784
Connecting the Dots: Threat Assessment, Depression and the Troubled Student
Harwood, Valerie
Curriculum Inquiry, v41 n5 p586-609 Dec 2011
One of the numerous responses to the mass shooting at Virginia Tech in April 2007 has been the call for higher education institutions in the United States to take an increased role in identifying troubled students. This has had widely felt effects, with educational institutions across the United States developing mechanisms such as Threat Assessment Teams to respond to the perceived heightened threat of campus violence. At the core of these responses is the notion of the troubled student that brings dangerousness and depression together. The purpose of this article is to draw attention to this, arguing that extreme violence has been extended from the provenance of the dangerous mad individual to a potential characteristic of the depressed individual. Interrogating this shift takes on special significance because understanding depression and violence is deemed vital to "connect the dots" to detect the troubled student, thereby preventing campus violence in higher education institutions. To consider this shifting conceptualization, this article draws closely on Hannah Arendt's distinction between factual and rational truths and Michel Foucault's analysis of melancholy. The Arendtian distinction between factual and rational truths facilitates analysis of the truths of the troubled student, as well as underscoring the importance that this recognition has for debate. Foucault's investigation of melancholy together with his emphasis on the "structure of perception" is employed to tease out how truths of the troubled student are produced, and thereby demonstrate that they are rational truths. Drawing on these ideas, the article offers a critical examination of how depression figures as potency and advances the argument that in the take-up of these emerging conceptualizations, there is a significant shift in how the troubled student is understood in higher education.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States; Virginia