Definitions And Conceptual Models Of Bullying Within Research Essays

Definitions And Conceptual Models Of Bullying Within Research Essays

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Murky definitions and conceptual models of bullying within research have led to significant variance amongst intervention practices. Academics, policy-makers, and educators have used a range of approaches to reduce the negative outcomes associated with bullying. These include interventionist approaches that seek to understand the behaviors of both perpetrators and victims, as well as embedded approaches that incorporate social-emotional learning and positive behavior support. This chapter explores three competing characterizations of bullying that have shaped research and practice adapted from discursive analysis of Ellwood and Davies (2014), namely;
1. Bullying as a form of individual aggression,
2. Bullying as a form of social violence and
3. Bullying as a feature of dysfunctional group dynamics.
“Language is more than just a way of connecting people. People ‘exist’ in language” (Galbin, 2015). People use language to create a mental representation of reality, which then influences how they chose to act within the world. In this way, the language of bullying discourse shapes social practices. Familiarity with one or more mental models of bullying will shape both individual and community action regarding bullying prevention. If language facilitates social understanding and social practice, comparing and contrasting conceptual models of bullying lays the groundwork to explore the attitudes, beliefs and values implicit in bullying prevention efforts.


This early model defines school bullying as an expression of individual aggression. The behaviour manifests in response to dispositional forces: a consequence of personality traits inherent in the aggressor. Additionally, this behavioural response is more-or...

... middle of paper ...

...s such, I describe this concept of bullying as a form of individual aggression as adopting systems-ecological scaffolding, but lacking a social ecological perspective.

As we move away from a discussion of bullying as an act of individual aggression it is important to note that the research still continues within this framework. Moreover, this understanding of bullying has been widely disseminated throughout different societies and cultures. This understanding is both indicated and re-enforced by narratives within popular culture. Although it cannot be substantially addressed within the scope of this research, I would direct your attention towards a collection of essays, Bullying in Popular Culture (Scheg, 2012), which elaborates on the construction of bullying in a variety of texts that represent bullying akin to each of the conceptual frames outlined in this paper.

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