Sociology

Why does Workplace Violence Occur



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Workplace violence is so seemingly prevalent in modern America that it has a special term: going postal. Such rage killings aren't restricted to post offices, though they were the first instances to gain mainstream notice. Offices, factories, schools, almost any institution of modern America can and has been affected by growing violence.

But why?

The media would have people believe that workplace violence is the random act of an unbalanced person snapping and going wild. The aggressor is looked down upon, torn down, and never sympathized with. Instead of asking why he would do such a thing and getting to the root of the problem, perpetrators of workplace killings are dubbed anomalous and swept under the rug.

Instead of degrading the person as a loner, the deeper culture of the workplace should be examined. There is a reason the violence happens, and it's not simple and random lunacy.

To say someone has snapped implies there was a pressure on them from outside. Something had them stretched to the breaking point, and ripped them apart. A fundamental wound is created in the psyche, turning an ordinary person into a killing rage monster.

As humans are community based, what would make a member of the community lash out like that?

Mark Ames thoroughly demonstrates in Going Postal how Reaganomics and the ensuing culture of greed have changed American society to the point where people do snap and kill just to be heard. His views may sound controversial, but he uses compelling evidence to hold up his observation.

People are highly pressured these days, and only seen as resources. So oppressive is the corporate culture that employees consider themselves "wage slaves". Long gone are the times when working for a big corporation was like being part of a family; everyone is just a number on a tally sheet.

Attacking a workplace is an act of rebellion. An attempt to be heard, to tear down the culture that is destroying community. Human beings can only buckle under and be slaves for so long because they can no longer take it.

Workplace violence cannot be profiled. The FBI themselves can only give a broad description of a workplace killer, which labels almost anyone who is or has been an employee. Yet the culture that spawns the attacks is never looked at.

The degrading policies of corporations, the pressures to not get fired, the media focused on having to be elite and rich to be happy, these all fuel workplace violence. Greed and hatred are extolled as virtues, and CEOs make 300% more than their base workers for doing nothing but chopping jobs to make a profit.

Mainstream media will never support the idea of workplace violence as an act of rebellion, and will continue to label the aggressors as looneys and random attacks. The average citizen will never look deeper at the root causes because it is too frightening to examine. The rebel who acted out will never tell us why they did it, because they often martyr themselves for the cause.

Workplace violence will be a way of life until Americans do something about the corporate culture that has been allowed to take root.

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ARTICLE SOURCES AND CITATIONS
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Ames
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CC4QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FGoing-Postal-Rebellion-Workplaces-Columbine%2Fdp%2F1932360824&ei=LBzUTr6lFajfsQLh5bSZDw&usg=AFQjCNEnn9yt6TxKsE41t2fH3ej4_nnSIw&sig2=fJFvq8WTavYLfz7Ts08t6A
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.alternet.org/story/24796/?page=entire
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.abebooks.com/docs/authors-corner/mark-ames.shtml