Definition of Bullying

Definition of Bullying

Power Imbalance – “…the word is being overused”, she says, “expanding, accordionlike, to encompass both appalling violence or harassment and a few mean words.” In order to tackle bullying properly it needs a tighter definition, says Bazelon – something like “abuse carried out over a prolonged period of time, involving a power imbalance”. This may not fit in either case of Bailey O’Neill or Amanda Todd. There was no history of intimidation that led to the punch thrown at O’Neill, a district attorney said. While for Todd, the fact that she reported conflicts with classmates led many to ascribe her death to bullying when “her account of online seduction, stalking and blackmail cries out for…police investigation…” – The Independent, March 12, 2013 (READ MORE)

Traditional Definition – “…Bullying has traditionally been defined by three elements: aggression (the intent to harm), a power differential, and repetition. The predominant term used in research within the United States has been “peer victimization”, which focuses somewhat more on the experience of children who are victimized and less on the intent of those who perpetrate the bullying…” – Prevnet (READ MORE)

The Victim or The “Target” – “…Bullying is the use of force or coercion to abuse or intimidate others. The behavior can be habitual and involve an imbalance of social or physical power. It can include verbal harassment or threat, physical assault or coercion and may be directed repeatedly towards particular victims, perhaps on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexuality, or ability. If bullying is done by a group, it is called mobbing. The victim of bullying is sometimes referred to as a “target”. Bullying can be defined in many different ways. The UK currently has no legal definition of bullying, while some U.S. states have laws against it. Bullying consists of three basic types of abuse – emotional, verbal, and physical. It typically involves subtle methods of coercion such as intimidation. 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 or her bullying activities. Bullying in school and the workplace is also referred to as peer abuse. Robert W. Fuller has analyzed bullying in the context of rankism. A bullying culture can develop in any context in which human beings interact with each other. This includes school, church, family, the workplace, home, and neighborhoods….” – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

All Forms of Harassment – “…Bullying is repeated verbal, physical, social or psychological behaviour that is harmful and involves the misuse of power by an individual or group towards one or more persons. Cyberbullying refers to bullying through information and communication technologies. Bullying can involve humiliation, domination, intimidation, victimisation and all forms of harassment including that based on sex, race, disability, homosexuality or transgender. Bullying of any form or for any reason can have long-term effects on those involved including bystanders. Bullying can happen anywhere: at school, travelling to and from school, in sporting teams, between neighbours or in the workplace….” – NSW Public School (READ MORE)

Workplace Bullying – “…Persistent, offensive, abusive, intimidating or insulting behaviour, abuse of power or unfair penal sanctions which makes the recipient feel upset, threatened, humiliated or vulnerable, which undermines their self-confidence and which may cause them to suffer stress…Bullying is a compulsive need to displace aggression and is achieved by the expression of inadequacy (social, personal, interpersonal, behavioural, professional) by projection of that inadequacy onto others through control and subjugation (criticism, exclusion, isolation etc). Bullying is sustained by abdication of responsibility (denial, counter-accusation, pretence of victimhood) and perpetuated by a climate of fear, ignorance, indifference, silence, denial, disbelief, deception, evasion of accountability, tolerance and reward (eg promotion) for the bully…” – Bullying Online (READ MORE)

Problem Behaviours – “…Common, clearly understood definitions of bullying, sexual harassment and racial discrimination are the cornerstone of any successful program. Definitions and consequences of engaging in these problem behaviours should be posted in common areas and classrooms and reviewed regularly. Students must be engaged in this process. The definitions found below have been tested out on large student populations in many countries. With the exception of the sexual harassment definition, they should be used for grades four and up. Due to developmental reasons, the definition of sexual harassment should only be used for those in grades eight and higher. The definitions found below are based upon the West Vancouver School District Safe School Surveys and the World Health Organization’s definitions of bullying in the international Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children surveys. To harass someone is to bother, make fun of, trouble or attack them, and this is done repeatedly. Someone who harasses wants to hurt the other person (it’s not an accident), and does or says the same things over and over again….” – CPHA (READ MORE)

Psychologists’ Definition – “…All the misdiagnosis of bullying is making the real but limited problem seem impossible to solve. If every act of aggression counts as bullying, how can we stop it? Down this road lies the old assumption that bullying is a rite of childhood passage. But that’s wrong. Bullying is a particular form of harmful aggression, linked to real psychological damage, both short and long term. There are concrete strategies that can succeed in addressing it – and they all begin with shifting the social norm so that bullying moves from being shrugged off to being treated as unacceptable. But we can’t do that if we believe, and tell our children, that it’s everywhere. The definition of bullying adopted by psychologists is physical or verbal abuse, repeated over time, and involving a power imbalance. In other words, it’s about one person with more social status lording it over another person, over and over again, to make him miserable. …” – Emily Bazelon, New York Times, March 11, 2013 (READ MORE)

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