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Bullying in schools: a shared understanding

Jones, Shan 2019. Bullying in schools: a shared understanding. EdD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Abstract

This study reports on the understanding of the definition of bullying by students and staff in a secondary school setting. The aim of the study was to explore whether there was a shared understanding of bullying and if there were any notable differences between the two groups of participants. Adopting a qualitative approach, and organising the data collected from semi structured interviews thematically, which discussed six vignettes and followed with questions relating to the participants knowledge and involvement of antibullying policy in their settings. The research was undertaken in two large secondary schools in south Wales and explored the perspectives of students and a range of staff across both settings. There were 39 participants, 12 of whom were staff, school 1 had 19 participants and school 2 had 20. The study found that the participants understanding and defining of bullying is informed and drawn from the educational psychology definition of bullying, involving an imbalance of power, intention, repetition and impact. There was little evidence of the impact of wider social, cultural or political influences which shaped the identity of individuals or groups. A notable difference between the two groups was the reference of young people to the emotional impact and its effect on agency, coupled with their reluctance to ascribe labels such as bully or victim to individuals. In contrast staff drew on a deficit model of the child, ascribing labels to deficiency in the individual that needed to be rectified through behaviour management. Drawing on Foucauldian concepts this study explores how the dominant discourses on bullying enables school bullying to be conceptualisation as primarily rooted in the individual. Thereby denying staff and students opportunities for exploring how power relations and social oppression contribute and may offer alternative solutions to the problem of bullying. The conclusion suggests that there needs to be an analysis of the dynamic and fluid power relations that exist in the intersecting relationships between individual, groups and communities that widen the lens of observation from its focus on the individual to an examination of the social, cultural and political factors that influence and drive the conceptualisation of identity.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 28 April 2020
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2021 02:20
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/131241

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