Communication Studies, Department of


Date of this Version

Spring 2002


Southern Communication Journal 67:3 (Spring 2002), pp. 259–275.

doi: 10.1080/10417940209373235


Copyright © 2002 Southern States Communication Association; published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis. Used by permission.


Although the American Dream myth idealizes youth who grow up in suburbia as culture types of imminent success, the Columbine High School shootings demonstrated that all not suburban youth will grow up to succeed. The extensive news media coverage of the tragedy reflects broader anxieties about the declining status of the suburbs in American society. In the wake of the shootings, the news media created a myth of monstrous youth in suburbia that functioned to repair suburbanites’ waning faith in the myth of the American Dream.