Criticism of University Response
Sociology professor Kenneth Westhues has criticized the Virginia Tech response to the shootings and the Massengill Report. Westhues identifies the cause of the shootings as mobbing Cho experienced in the Virginia Tech English department, and suggests that the explanation for the Virginia Tech shootings should go beyond what he calls the "defective character" explanation:A more truthful (and therefore more useful) explanation of the Virginia Tech murders focuses not on Cho’s character but on the interaction between it and the situations he was in, not on his personal identity but on the interplay between who he was and how other people treated him.
Westhues cites the experiences of another Virginia Tech student in the same department as being very similar to Cho's. Westhues has criticized Virginia Tech and the Massengill Report for failing to advance a fuller explanation of the causes of the shootings, which he suggests should be one of "character-situation interplay".
Read more about this topic: Virginia Tech Massacre
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“However intense my experience, I am conscious of the presence and criticism of a part of me, which, as it were, is not a part of me, but a spectator, sharing no experience, but taking note of it, and that is no more I than it is you. When the play, it may be the tragedy, of life is over, the spectator goes his way. It was a kind of fiction, a work of the imagination only, so far as he was concerned.”
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“One can describe a landscape in many different words and sentences, but one would not normally cut up a picture of a landscape and rearrange it in different patterns in order to describe it in different ways. Because a photograph is not composed of discrete units strung out in a linear row of meaningful pieces, we do not understand it by looking at one element after another in a set sequence. The photograph is understood in one act of seeing; it is perceived in a gestalt.”
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