Breaking the Mirror of the Spectacle:Mass Murder/Suicide as the Ecstasy of Simulated Experience

Simpson, O. (2019) Breaking the Mirror of the Spectacle:Mass Murder/Suicide as the Ecstasy of Simulated Experience. Critical Sociology. ISSN 0896-9205

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Abstract

This article develops a sociological understanding of the lone mass shooter and the ways in which his affectual constellation is produced within and mirrors the social space. It begins by outlining the contemporary political context of terrorism. The article then explores the affectual constellation of an isolated mass murderer, by asking the question 'what is a loser?'. Following this, it links the emergence of the radical loser to modernity through an exploration of the genealogy of nihilism. Then, taking the mass murderer Elliot Rodger as a paradigmatic case, it explores the ways in which his affectual constellation can be understood as produced within the capitalist social formation. Finally, it argues that mass murder can be understood as the ecstasy of simulated experience, its violent countertransference, constituting a zone of indistinction between the spectacle and the real, killing and being killed.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Critical Sociology
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3312
Subjects:
ID Code:
139448
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
09 Jan 2020 11:30
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
18 Sep 2020 05:16