Bullying is the use of force or coercion to abuse or intimidate others. Bullying may be defined as the activity of repeated, aggressive behavior intended to hurt another person, physically or mentally. Bullying is characterized by an individual behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person.
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".
The United Kingdom currently has no legal definition of bullying, while some United States states have laws against it.
Bullying consists of three basic types of abuse:
--- verbal, and
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.
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.
Εκφοβισμός είναι η χρήση βίας ή εξαναγκασμού από κάποιον με σκοπό να τρομοκρατήσει ή να εκφοβίσει τους άλλους. Ο εκφοβισμός μπορεί να οριστεί ως η δραστηριότητα επαναλαμβανόμενης, επιθετικής συμπεριφοράς με σκοπό να βλάψει κάποιο άλλο άτομο, σωματικά ή ψυχικά. Ο εκφοβισμός χαρακτηρίζεται από ένα άτομο που συμπεριφέρεται με έναν ορισμένο τρόπο για να κερδίσει την εξουσία πάνω σε κάποιο άλλο πρόσωπο.
Η συμπεριφορά αυτή μπορεί να είναι συχνή και συνήθης και περιλαμβάνει μια ανισορροπία κοινωνικής ή σωματικής δύναμης. Μπορεί να περιλαμβάνει λεκτική παρενόχληση ή απειλή, σωματική επίθεση ή εξαναγκασμό και μπορεί να κατευθύνεται επανειλημμένα εναντίον συγκεκριμένων θυμάτων που είναι κοινωνικά διαφορετικοί λόγω φυλής, θρησκείας, φύλου, σεξουαλικότητας ή ικανότητα. Το θύμα εκφοβισμού συχνά αναφέρεται ως "στόχος".
Το Ηνωμένο Βασίλειο δεν έχει ακόμα και σήμερα κανένα νομικό ορισμό του εκφοβισμού, ενώ μερικές πολιτείες των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών της Αμερικής έχουν ήδη θεσπίσει νόμους εναντίον διάφορων μορφών εκφοβισμού.
Ο εκφοβισμός αποτελείται από τρεις βασικούς τύπους κατάχρησης:
--- λεκτική και
Ο εκφοβισμός κυμαίνεται από
-- την απλή πρόσωπο-με-πρόσωπο μορφή εκφοβισμού σε
-- πιο πολύπλοκες μορφές όταν ο ‘νταής’ μπορεί να έχει ένα ή περισσότερους «υπολοχαγούς», που είναι πρόθυμοι να βοηθήσουν τον αρχηγό-νταή στις δραστηριότητες εκφοβισμού. Ο εκφοβισμός στο σχολείο και στο χώρο εργασίας είναι επίσης γνωστός ως ‘κατάχρηση από ομότιμους'.
Μια ‘κουλτούρα εκφοβισμού’ μπορεί να αναπτυχθεί σε οποιοδήποτε πλαίσιο στο οποίο τα ανθρώπινα όντα αλληλεπιδρούν μεταξύ τους. Αυτό μπορεί να περιλαμβάνει το σχολείο, την εκκλησία, την οικογένεια, την εργασία, το σπίτι, και τις γειτονιές.
In the 2000s and 2010s, a cultural movement against bullying gained popularity in the English-speaking world. The first National Bullying Prevention Week was conceived of in Canada in 2000 by Canadian educator and anti-bullying activist Bill Belsey.
Of bullying in general
Bullying consists of three basic types of abuse – emotional, verbal, and physical. It typically involves subtle methods of coercion such as intimidation. Bullying behavior may include name calling, verbal or written abuse, exclusion from activities, exclusion from social situations, physical abuse, or coercion.
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).
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.
He also suggests that social aggression or indirect bullying is characterized by attempting to socially isolate the victim. 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 outlines an array of nonviolent behavior which can be considered "indirect bullying", at least in some instances, 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.
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.
Of bullies and bully accomplices
Studies have shown that envy and resentment may be motives for bullying. Research on the self-esteem of bullies has produced equivocal results. While some bullies are arrogant and narcissistic, bullies can also use bullying as a tool to conceal shame or anxiety or to boost self-esteem: by demeaning others, the abuser feels empowered. Bullies may bully out of jealousy or because they themselves are bullied. Some have argued that a bully reflects the environment of his home, repeating the model he learned from his parents.
Researchers have identified other risk factors such as depression and personality disorders, 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. A combination of these factors may also be causes of this behavior. In one recent study of youth, a combination of antisocial traits and depression was found to be the best predictor of youth violence, whereas video game violence and television violence exposure were not predictive of these behaviors.
According to some researchers, bullies may be inclined toward negativity and perform poorly academically. Dr. Cook says that "a typical bully has trouble resolving problems with others and also has trouble academically. He or she usually has negative attitudes and beliefs about others, feels negatively toward himself/herself, comes from a family environment characterized by conflict and poor parenting, perceives school as negative and is negatively influenced by peers".
Contrarily, some researchers have suggested that some bullies are "psychologically strongest" and have "high social standing" among their peers, while their victims are "emotionally distressed" and "socially marginalized". Other researchers 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".
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 may also become more sophisticated. Schoolyard pranks and "rough-housing" may develop into more subtle activities such as administrative end-runs, planned and orchestrated attempts at character assassination, or other less obvious, yet equally forceful forms of coercion.
Research indicates that adults who bully have authoritarian personalities, combined with a strong need to control or dominate. It has also been suggested that a prejudicial view of subordinates can be a particularly strong risk factor.
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 early stages, it often becomes an accepted, or supported, norm within the group.
In such groups where the "bully mentality" has been allowed to become a dominant factor in the group environment, injustice and abuse often become regular and predictable parts of the group experience. Bystanders to bullying activities are often unable or unwilling to recognize the true costs that silence regarding the bullying can have, both to the victim or victims, and to the group. Bystanders often feel unwilling to empathize with the victim, regardless of their feelings towards the bully. The reversal of a culture of bullying within a group is usually an effort which requires much time, energy, careful planning, coordination with others, and usually requires some undertaking of "risk" by group members.
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''. 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. Bullying has also been shown to cause maladjustment in young children, and victims of bullying who were also bullies themselves exhibit even greater social difficulties. In the long term it can lead to posttraumatic stress disorder and an inability to form relationships.
There is evidence that bullying increases the risk of suicide. It is estimated that between 15 and 25 children commit suicide every year in the UK alone, because they are being bullied.
Bullied students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold carried out the 1999 Columbine High School massacre. Since then, bullying has been more closely linked to high school violence in general.
Serial killers were frequently bullied through direct and indirect methods as children or adolescents.
Despite the large number of individuals who do not approve of bullying, there are very few who will intervene on behalf of a victim. Most people remain bystanders, and may accept the bullying or even support the bully. In 85% of bullying incidents, bystanders are involved in teasing the victim or egging on the bully. When the bully encounters no negative response from observers, it encourages continuation of the behavior.
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.
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. Particular watch dog organizations have been designed to contain the spread of cyber-bullying.