Bullying


Bullying
Bullying is detrimental to students’ well-being and development.[1]
One student knocking the other student down.

Bullying is a form of aggressive behavior, which may manifest as abusive treatment, the use of force or coercion to affect others,[2] particularly when habitual and involving an imbalance of power. It may involve verbal harassment, physical assault or coercion and may be directed persistently towards particular victims, perhaps on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexuality, or ability.[3][4] The "imbalance of power" may be social power and/or physical power. The victim of bullying is sometimes referred to as a "target."

Bullying consists of three basic types of abuseemotional, verbal, and physical. It typically involves subtle methods of coercion such as intimidation. Bullying can be defined in many different ways. The UK currently has no legal definition of bullying,[5] while some U.S. states have laws against it.[6]

Bullying ranges from simple one-on-one bullying to more complex bullying in which the bully may have one or more 'lieutenants' who may seem to be willing to assist the primary bully in his bullying activities. Bullying in school and the workplace is also referred to as peer abuse.[7] Robert W. Fuller has analyzed bullying in the context of rankism.

Bullying can occur in any context in which human beings interact with each other. This includes school, church, family, the workplace, home, and neighborhoods. It is even a common push factor in migration. Bullying can exist between social groups, social classes, and even between countries (see jingoism). In fact, on an international scale, perceived or real imbalances of power between nations, in both economic systems and in treaty systems, are often cited as some of the primary causes of both World War I and World War II.[8][9]

Happy slapping in the Instituto Regional Federico Errázuriz, Santa Cruz, Chile

Contents

Etymology

The word "bully" was first used in the 1530s meaning "sweetheart," applied to either sex, from the Dutch boel "lover, brother," probably diminutive of Middle High German buole "brother," of uncertain origin (compare with the German buhle "lover"). The meaning deteriorated through the 17th century through "fine fellow," "blusterer," to "harasser of the weak". This may have been as a connecting sense between "lover" and "ruffian" as in "protector of a prostitute," which was one sense of "bully" (though not specifically attested until 1706). The verb "to bully" is first attested in 1710.[10]

History

Bullying, in multiple widespread forms, was a ubiquitous feature of the fascism of Italy under Mussolini.[11] Virginia Woolf considere fascism as a form of bullying, and wrote of the Hitler and the Nazis in 1934 as "these brutal bullies."[12][13]

High-level forms of violence such as assault and murder usually receive most media attention, but lower-level forms of violence such as bullying have only in recent years started to be addressed by researchers, parents and guardians, and authority figures.[14] It is only in recent years that bullying has been recognised and recorded as a separate and distinct offence, but there have been well documented cases that have been recorded over the centuries. The Fifth Volume of the Newgate Calendar[15] contains at least one example where Eton Scholars George Alexander Wood and Alexander Wellesley Leith were charged, at Aylesbury Assizes, with killing and slaying the Hon. F. Ashley Cooper on February 28, 1825 in an incident that would now surely be described as "lethal hazing."[16] The Newgate calendar contains several other examples that, while not as distinct, could be considered indicative of situations of bullying.

Definitions

Bullying is an act of repeated aggressive behavior in order to intentionally hurt another person, physically or mentally. Bullying is characterized by an individual behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person.[17]

Norwegian researcher Dan Olweus defines bullying as when a person is

"exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons." He defines negative action as "when a person intentionally inflicts injury or discomfort upon another person, through physical contact, through words or in other ways".[18]

General

Bullying behavior may include name calling, verbal or written abuse, exclusion from activities, exclusion from social situations, physical abuse, or coercion.[14][19] Bullies may behave this way to be perceived as popular or tough or to get attention. They may bully out of jealousy or be acting out because they themselves are bullied.[20]

U.S. National Center for Education Statistics suggests that bullying can be classified into two categories: Direct bullying, and indirect bullying (which is also known as social aggression).[1]

Ross states that direct bullying involves a great deal of physical aggression, such as shoving and poking, throwing things, slapping, choking, punching and kicking, beating, stabbing, pulling hair, scratching, biting, scraping, and pinching.[21]

He also suggests that social aggression or indirect bullying is characterized by threatening the victim into social isolation. This isolation is achieved through a wide variety of techniques, including spreading gossip, refusing to socialize with the victim, bullying other people who wish to socialize with the victim, and criticizing the victim's manner of dress and other socially-significant markers (including the victim's race, religion, disability, sex, or sexual preference, etc.). Ross[21] outlines other forms of indirect bullying which are more subtle and more likely to be verbal, such as name calling, the silent treatment, arguing others into submission, manipulation, gossip/false gossip, lies, rumors/false rumors, staring, giggling, laughing at the victim, saying certain words that trigger a reaction from a past event, and mocking. The UK based children's charity, Act Against Bullying, was set up in 2003 to help children who were victims of this type of bullying by researching and publishing coping skills.

It has been noted that there tend to be differences in how bullying manifests itself between the sexes. Males tend to be more likely to be physically aggressive whereas females tend to favour exclusion and mockery, though it has been noticed that females are becoming more physical in their bullying.[17]

Controversy

Some researches have said that some bullies are "psychologically strongest" and had "high social standing" among their peers, while their victims were "emotionally distressed" and "socially marginalized".[22] Other reasearches also argued that a minority of the bullies, those who are not in turn bullied, "enjoy going to school, and are least likely to take days off sick."[23] An individual child development academicianand sparked controversy when she argued that being a victim of bullying can teach a student "how to manage disputes and boost their ability to interact with others," and that teachers should not intervene and let children handle it themselves.[24] Those however are minority views and the consensus is that bullying, as a form of abuse, is wholly negative. The more positive attitudes among bullies are most likely to predate the bullying and most victims report bullying as something that scars them for a long time.[citation needed]

"[I]f boys or girls are able to stand up for themselves, being attacked by enemies can help their development. Studies have shown that children become more popular among, and respected by, teachers and fellow pupils if they repay hostility in kind. They remember such experiences more vividly than friendly episodes, helping them to develop healthy social and emotional skills."[25]

Effects of bullying on those who are targeted

The effects of bullying can be serious and even fatal. It is still a greatly unresearched area.

The link between bullying and school violence has attracted increasing attention since the 1999 Columbine High School massacre. That year, two shotgun-wielding students, both of whom had been identified as gifted and who had been bullied for years, killed 13 people, wounded 24, and then committed suicide. A year later an analysis by officials at the U.S. Secret Service of 37 premeditated school shootings found that bullying, which some of the shooters described "in terms that approached torment," played a major role in more than two-thirds of the attacks.[26] It is estimated that about 60-80% of children are bullied at school. Since bullying is mostly ignored, it may provide an important clue in crowd behaviour and passer-by behaviour. Numerous psychologists have been puzzled by the inactivity of crowds in urban centres when crimes occur in crowded places. Many have suggested bullying as one of the reason of this decline in emotional sensitivity and acceptance of violence as normal. When someone is bullied, it is not only the bully and victim who are becoming less sensitive to violence. In most cases, the friends and classmates of the bully and the victim accept the violence as normal.

In a landmark study, 432 gifted students in 11 states of USA were studied for bullying. More than two-thirds of academically talented eighth-graders say they have been bullied at school and nearly one-third harboured violent thoughts as a result.[26]

Mona O’Moore of the Anti-Bullying Centre at Trinity College in Dublin, has written, "There is a growing body of research which indicates that individuals, whether child or adult, who are persistently subjected to abusive behavior are at risk of stress related illness which can sometimes lead to suicide."[27] Those who have been the targets of bullying can suffer from long term emotional and behavioral problems. Bullying can cause loneliness, depression, anxiety, lead to low self-esteem and increased susceptibility to illness.[28] In the long term it can lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and an inability to form relationships - even leading to celibacy.

The National Conference of State Legislatures said:

"In 2002, a report released by the U.S. Secret Service concluded that bullying played a significant role in many school shootings and that efforts should be made to eliminate bullying behavior."[29]

Suicide

There is a strong correlation between bullying and suicide.[30] Bullying leads to several suicides every year. It is estimated that between 15 and 25 children commit suicide every year in the UK alone, because they are being bullied.[31]

Among the cases of media bullying suicides following: Ryan Halligen, Phoebe Prince, Dawn-Marie Wesley, Kelly Yeomans, Jessica Haffer,[32] Hamed Nastoh,[33] or April Himes.[34]

Characteristics of bullies and bully accomplices

Research indicates that adults who bully have personalities that are authoritarian, combined with a strong need to control or dominate.[35] It has also been suggested that a prejudicial view of subordinates can be a particularly strong risk factor.[36] Some doctors have argued that a bully reflects the environment of his home, repeating the model he learned from his parents.[37]

Further studies have shown that envy and resentment may be motives for bullying.[38] Research on the self-esteem of bullies has produced equivocal results.[39][40] While some bullies are arrogant and narcissistic,[41] others can use bullying as a tool to conceal shame or anxiety or to boost self esteem: by demeaning others, the abuser him/herself feels empowered.[42]

Researchers have identified other risk factors such as depression[43] and personality disorders,[44] as well as quickness to anger and use of force, addiction to aggressive behaviors, mistaking others' actions as hostile, concern with preserving self image, and engaging in obsessive or rigid actions.[45] A combination of these factors may also be causes of this behavior.[46] In one recent study of youth, a combination of antisocial traits and depression was found to be the best predictor of youth violence, where as video game violence and television violence exposure were not predictive of these behaviors [47].

It is often suggested that bullying behavior has its origin in childhood. As a child who is inclined to act as a bully ages, his or her related behavior patterns will often also become more sophisticated. Schoolyard pranks and 'rough-housing' may develop into more subtle, yet equally effective adult-level activities such as administrative end-runs, well-planned and orchestrated attempts at character assassination, or other less obvious, yet equally forceful forms of coercion.

Characteristics of typical bystanders

Often bullying takes place in the presence of a large group of relatively uninvolved bystanders. In many cases, it is the bully's ability to create the illusion that he or she has the support of the majority present that instills the fear of 'speaking out' in protestation of the bullying activities being observed by the group. Unless the 'bully mentality' is effectively challenged in any given group in its earlier stages, it often becomes an accepted norm within the group.[48] [49]

In such groups where the 'bully mentality' has been allowed to become a dominant factor in the group environment, a steady stream of injustices and abuses often becomes a regular and predictable group experience. Such a toxic environment often remains as the status-quo of the group for an extended period of time, until somehow the bullying-cycle should eventually come to an end. Bystanders to bullying activities are often unable to recognize the true cost that silence regarding the bullying activities has to both the individual and to the group. A certain inability to fully empathize is also usually present in the typical bystander, but to a lesser degree than in the bully. The reversal of a 'bully mentality' within a group is usually an effort which requires much time, energy, careful planning, coordination with others, and usually the undertaking of a certain 'risk'.

It is the general unwillingness of bystanders to expend these types of energies and to undertake these types of risks that bullies often rely upon in order to maintain their monopolies of power. Until or unless at least one individual who has at least some abilities to work with others, opts to expend whatever energies may be needed to reverse the 'bully mentality' of the group, the 'bully mentality' is often perpetuated within a group for months, years, or even decades.[50] [51]

Bystanders who have been able to establish their own 'friendship group' or 'support group' have been found to be far more likely to opt to speak out against bullying behavior than those who have not.[52] [53]

Intervention

Despite the large number of individuals that do not agree with bullying practices, there a very few that will intervene on behalf of the victim. These individuals are labeled bystanders and unfortunately usually tend to lean toward the bully’s side. In 85% of bullying incidents, bystanders are involved in teasing the victim or egging on the bully.[54]

However, in most bullying incidents, bystanders usually do nothing. If the bully faces no obstruction from the people around, it gives permission to continue behaving badly.[55] There are a wide variety of reasons why children choose not to intervene. Typically, they worry that they will make the situation worse or risk becoming the next victim, due to the fear that children experience as the bystanders, which is a direct cause of the decline of anti-bullying attitudes. This points to the urgency for a better understanding of children’s attitudes to bullying and the factors that seem to predict these attitudes.[54]

Researchers have been analyzing the just-world belief theory to help understand the decline of anti-bullying attitudes. "This is the idea that people get what they deserve and deserve what they get." The study determined that children do seek to understand, justify, and rectify the different injustices they come across in everyday life. However, further research is needed to link the two together.[54]

Characteristics of targets of chronic bullying

While on the surface, chronic bullying may appear to be simply the actions of an 'aggressor' (or aggressors) perpetrated upon an unwilling 'targeted individual' (or individuals), on a certain deeper level, for it to succeed, the bullying-cycle must also be viewed as necessarily including a certain chronic inadequate response on the part of the target (or targets). That is, a response that is seen by both the bully and the target as insufficient to prevent the chronic bullying-cycle from repeating itself between the given individuals. A suitable response to any given attempt at bullying varies with the occasion, and can range from ignoring a bully to turning a prank around so that it makes a 'pranksteree' out of the would be prankster,[56] to even summoning legal intervention. In any case, the targeted individual must necessarily somehow demonstrate to the would-be bully that one will not allow one's self to be daunted, intimidated, or otherwise "cowed" by the bully.  Those individuals or groups who are capable of reacting to initial bullying attempts in ways that tend to sufficiently discourage potential bullies from repeated attempts are less likely to be drawn into this destructive cycle. Those individuals or groups who most readily react to stressful situations by perceiving themselves as 'victims' tend to make the most suitable candidates for becoming the 'targets' of chronic bullying.[57]

Under some circumstances, targets may be chosen in what may be a completely random or arbitrary process, especially in groups in which the 'bully mentality' may have already succeeded in achieving domination within the group. In such groups, the defense mechanisms of the entire group may have already been 'broken down', and therefore the targeting of individuals no longer requires the seeking out of 'certain personality types' to become the 'next target'. The reversal of such chronic and well entrenched bullying behavior in such groups sometimes requires a much more carefully planned, coordinated, determined, and multi-individual response from a would-be target than in a group in which either the 'bully mentality' may not (yet) prevail, or ideally in a group that may have already taken a pro-active preventative approach towards bullying.[58] [59]

Typically, the bullying-cycle must include both an act of aggression on the part of a potential bully, and a response by a potential target that is perceived by both as a certain sign of submission. The cycle is only set in motion when both of these two essential elements are present. Once both of these two elements manifest themselves, the bullying cycle often proceeds to feed on itself over time, and may last for months, years, or even decades. The cycle is most easily broken at its initial onset; however, it can also be broken at any later point in its progression by simply removing either one of its two essential ingredients. While group involvement may seem to complicate bullying activities, the act is most often an implied agreement in principle between a chief bully or instigator and the target that the one has 'submitted' to the other. In the act of bullying, the bully attempts to make a public statement to the effect of: 'See me and fear me, I am so powerful that I have the ability to inflict pain upon the intended target at the time and manner of my choice without having to pay any consequences.' Should an intended target exhibit a 'defeated attitude' in response to chronic bullying, then the bullying is likely to continue. In circumstances where a 'bullying pattern' has not yet fully established itself, should the intended target respond with a clear attitude of self-confidence that somehow demonstrates that the bully's attempt to dominate is futile, then the bullying attempt will often quickly diminish or end all-together. Established patterns of bullying may require greater and more persistent effort to reverse. Institutions may reinforce bullying; for example, by telling targets of bullies that they're responsible for defending themselves, but then punishing them if they fight back. [60] [61]

Types of bullying

School bullying

Physical bullying at school, as depicted in the film Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.
Some states in the United States have implemented laws to address school bullying.
  Law prohibits bullying of students based on sexual orientation and gender identity
  Law prohibits bullying of students based on sexual orientation only
  School regulation or ethical code for teachers that address bullying of students based on sexual orientation
  Law prohibits bullying in school but lists no specific categories of protection
  No statewide law that specifically prohibits bullying in schools

Bullying can occur in nearly any part in or around the school building, though it may occur more frequently in physical education classes and activities, recess, hallways, bathrooms, on school buses and while waiting for buses, and in classes that require group work and/or after school activities. Bullying in school sometimes consists of a group of students taking advantage of or isolating one student in particular and gaining the loyalty of bystanders who want to avoid becoming the next victim. These bullies may taunt and tease their target before physically bullying the target. Bystanders may participate or watch, sometimes out of fear of becoming the next victim.

Bullying can also be perpetrated by teachers and the school system itself: There is an inherent power differential in the system that can easily predispose to subtle or covert abuse (relational aggression or passive aggression), humiliation, or exclusion — even while maintaining overt commitments to anti-bullying policies.[62][63][64]

Workplace bullying

According to the Workplace Bullying and Trauma Institute workplace bullying is "repeated, health-harming mistreatment, verbal abuse, or conduct which is threatening, humiliating, intimidating, or sabotage that interferes with work, or some combination of the three."[65] Statistics show that bullying is 3 times as prevalent as illegal discrimination and at least 1,600 times as prevalent as workplace violence. Statistics also show that while only one employee in every 10,000 becomes a victim of workplace violence, one in six experiences bullying at work. Bullying is a little more common than sexual harassment but not verbal abuse which occurs more than bullying.

Unlike the more physical form of school bullying, workplace bullying often takes place within the established rules and policies of the organization and society. Such actions are not necessarily illegal and may not even be against the firm's regulations; however, the damage to the targeted employee and to workplace morale is obvious.

Bullying in academia

Bullying in academia is workplace bullying of scholars and staff in academia, especially places of higher education such as colleges and universities. It is believed to be common, although has not received as much attention from researchers as bullying in some other contexts.[66]

Bullying in IT

A culture of bullying is common in information technology (IT), leading to high sickness rates, low morale, poor productivity, and high staff turnover.[67] Deadline-driven project work and stressed-out managers take their toll on IT workers.[68]

Bullying in medicine

Bullying in the medical profession is common, particularly of student or trainee doctors and of nurses. It is thought that this is at least in part an outcome of conservative traditional hierarchical structures and teaching methods in the medical profession, which may result in a bullying cycle.

Bullying in nursing

Bullying has been identified as being particularly prevalent in the nursing profession although the reasons are not clear. It is thought that relational aggression (psychological aspects of bullying such as gossipping and intimidation) are relevant. Relational aggression has been studied amongst girls but not so much amongst adult women.[69][70]

Bullying in teaching

School teachers are commonly the subject of bullying but they are also sometimes the originators of bullying within a school environment.

Cyber-bullying

Cyber-bullying is any bullying done through the use of technology. This form of bullying can easily go undetected because of lack of parental/authoritative supervision. Because bullies can pose as someone else, it is the most anonymous form of bullying. Cyber bullying includes, but is not limited to, abuse using email, instant messaging, text messaging, websites, social networking sites, etc.[71]

Gay bullying

Gay bullying and gay bashing are expressions used to designate verbal or physical actions that are direct or indirect in nature by a person or group against a person who is gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered (LGBT), or of questionable sexual orientation, or one who is perceived to be so, because of rumors or fitting gay stereotypes.

Bullying of the disabled

It has been noted that disabled people are disproportionately affected by bullying and that this can be seen as a hate crime issue.[72] The bullying is not limited to those who are visibly disabled such as wheelchair-users or physically deformed such as those with a cleft lip but also those with learning disabilities such as autism[73][74] and dyspraxia[75][76] In the latter case, this is linked to a poor ability in physical education, and this behaviour can be encouraged by the unthinking PE teacher. The bullying is not limited to schools. If the disabled person is in some form of institution, it is not unknown for staff to abuse the people in it such as was revealed in a BBC Panorama programme on a Castlebeck care home (Winterbourne View) near Bristol which led to its closure and the suspension and sacking of some of the staff.[77]

There is an additional problem that those with learning disabilities are often not as able to explain things to other people so are more likely to be disbelieved or ignored if they do complain.

Bullying in prisons

Another environment known for bullying is a country's prison service. This is almost inevitable when many of the people incarcerated are there for aggressive crimes and many were bullies at school. An additional complication is the staff and their relationships with the inmates. Thus the following possible bullying scenarios are possible:

  • Inmate bullies inmate (echoing school bullying);
  • Staff bullies inmate;
  • Staff bullies staff (a manifestation of workplace bullying);
  • Inmate bullies staff.

Bullying in the military

In 2000, the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) defined bullying as: “...the use of physical strength or the abuse of authority to intimidate or victimize others, or to give unlawful punishments.”[78]

Some argue that this behaviour should be allowed because of a general academic consensus that "soldiering" is different from other occupations. Soldiers expected to risk their lives should, according to them, develop strength of body and spirit to accept bullying.[79] This attitude can be seen as paralleled by the training expected by the Ancient Greek city state of Sparta.[citation needed] However, the role of a soldier has widened to peace-keeping where overt aggression is usually counterproductive and services auxiliary to the military often do some soldiering as well as another role such as engineering.

Bullying in other areas

As the verb to bully is defined as simply "forcing one's way aggressively or by intimidation," the term may generally apply to any life experience where one is motivated primarily by intimidation instead of by more positive goals such as mutually shared interests and benefits. As such, any figure of authority or power which may use intimidation as a primary means of motivating others, such as a neighborhood "protection racket don", a national dictator, a childhood ring-leader, a terrorist, a terrorist organization, or even a ruthless business CEO, could rightfully be referred to as a bully. According to psychologist Pauline Rennie-Peyton, we each face the possibility of being bullied in any phase of our lives.[80]

See also

References

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  2. ^ cruelty Merriam-webster.com
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External links


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Synonyms:

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  • Bullying — Le bullying est un néologisme anglo saxon forgé à partir du substantif bully (« voyou »), et qui désigne « une violence à long terme, physique ou psychologique, perpétrée par un ou plusieurs agresseurs (bully) à l encontre d une… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bullying UK — Bullying UK, formerly Bullying Online, is a UK charity founded in 1999 by journalist Liz Carnell and her son John. The charity s website was redesigned and relaunched in 2006 with a large amount of new information to help pupils, parents and… …   Wikipedia

  • Bullying — (engl. für schikanieren oder „tyrannisieren“[1]) steht in Großbritannien und Irland für Psychoterror am Arbeitsplatz, siehe Mobbing im deutschsprachigen Raum auch für Mobbing in der Schule Siehe auch: ↑ online Wörterbuch der LEO GmbH, München… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • bullying — ullying adj. Noisily domineering; tending to browbeat others. Syn: blustery. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • bullying — |búlingue| s. m. Conjunto de maus tratos, ameaças, coações ou outros atos de intimidação física ou psicológica exercido de forma continuada sobre uma pessoa considerada mais fraca ou mais vulnerável.   ‣ Etimologia: palavra inglesa …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • bullying — (izg. bùling) m DEFINICIJA sociol. neugodno ponašanje prema komu kojemu je smisao da izazove strah ili tjeskobu; mučenje, tiraniziranje, zastrašivanje, usp. mobbing ETIMOLOGIJA engl …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • bullying — noun a) An act of intimidating a weaker person to do something, especially such repeated coercion. She has been bullying him into taking her on a holiday. b) Persistent acts intended to make life unpleasant for another person. Bullying is a… …   Wiktionary

  • bullying — noun Bullying is used before these nouns: ↑tactic Bullying is used after these nouns: ↑playground …   Collocations dictionary

  • bullying — bul|ly|ing [ buliıŋ ] noun uncount behavior that frightens or hurts someone smaller or weaker: a report about growing cases of bullying at work Students are encouraged to tell someone about any incidents of bullying …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • bullying — UK [ˈbʊlɪɪŋ] / US noun [uncountable] behaviour that frightens or hurts someone smaller or weaker a report about growing cases of bullying at work Students are encouraged to tell someone about any incidents of bullying …   English dictionary


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