Dialectics at a Standstill: Transforming Critical Discourse on American Gun Violence

Kathleen M. George
William H. Barton, Indiana University Purdue University

The current level of gun violence in this country threatens the mental and physical health of individuals, families and the communities in which we live. Proliferation of firearms by the gun industry has occurred through a veil of misinformation and distortion that creates a false consciousness. Through social work research in this area, a critical theory of gun control could be developed and subsequently used to provide information and generate public discourse. For the purposes of this paper, critical theory refers to a school of thought that challenges conventional beliefs and social arrangements. A basic scheme of critical social science developed by Brian Fay will be used to explore: A theory of false consciousness; a theory of crisis; a theory of education; and a theory of transformative action. A program of research and action strategies will be suggested.

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Updated 05/20/2006