Bullying

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Bulling in Schools- EDUC 1101a (6 unit topic)

Bullying in schools has become a prominent issue in education over the last decade. This essay will consider this issue from a personal, theoretical and analytical perspective. Firstly, I will scrutinize over the difficulty of arriving at a common definition of bullying. I will look at ways in which lines are blurred for academic theorists to decide on a clear, universal definition of the social phenomenon of bullying and then continue on by reviewing my personal experiences of bullying through my education. Secondly, I would like to consider bullying as a social and educational issue brought to light by constant media coverage indicating the way the media can add ‘fuel to the fire’ by constructing images of ‘sameness’ and the ‘other’ in the youth of today. I will then address gender issues regarding bullying identifying how males and females engage in these injustices differently. I will also look at the new forms of bullying that have emerged within schools and more importantly, the forms of bullying that have emerged out of school as a result of new and constantly changing technologies. Finally, I will engage in an analysis of different forms of bullying prevention and conclude by looking at the parents’ role in the bullying cycle.

Humiliation, taunting, threats, social ostracism by classmates- these are common experiences encountered around the world. There has been a strong focus in the acdemic community regarding the need for a clear definition of the social occurance of bullying, and the instruments used for measuring these types of behaviours. Luis and Justicia (2006) suggest that without having a common reference point, researchers are unable to verify that they are discussing the same phenomenon. Evidently, this makes it difficult to compare data analysis in different countries. Research regarding the influence of variables such as age and gender are argued as a necessary progression towards a common definition, which is quite elusive. This problem is identified as being closely related to a lack of studies on bullying during early childhood (Luis and Justicia, 2006). The National Education Association reported that almost one hundred and sixty thousand students miss school daily because of bulliyng. Additionally, a typical student has a twenty-five percent chance of being bullied or being involved in bulling (Sheras & Tippings, 2002 ). In light of these alarming figures, it is apparent that bullying is an important and ever-increasing issue in comptemporay society. Ultimately, bullying can be related to any situation where somebody is purposely attacking another person in order to hurt or make them feel uncomfortable and inferior. Many researchers use Olweus’s definition of bullying, which states “…a student is being bullied or victimized when he is exposed repeatedly and over time to negative actions on the part of one or more students” (Olweus, 1993, p. 9). Accordingly, it is argued that bullying is a term used to describe people knowingly using their sense of power and dominance against other students in order to psychologically, physically and or mentally manipulate or harass them. Bulling occurs when a person or group of people take advantage of the power they have to hurt or reject someone else. There are common types of bullying: verbal and written, physical, and social/relationships (Sheras & Tippings, 2002). Bullying can certainly take on many forms such as physical assault, direct and indirect verbal harassment and even stalking. It is important to note, it is not only students who are victimized by the actions of other students. Teachers also experience a wide variety of indignities in schools ranging from rare but serious offences, such as rape or serious assault, to frequent and pervasive experiences of verbal abuse (Gottfredson, 1985). Evidently, no one in the school environment is safe or exempt from bullying. I attended the same school from...
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