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Latest posts by Akampurira Brian David (see all)
    Bullying is a serious problem all over the world and evidence suggest it is getting worse and even going cyber as the world enters the digital and social networking era (Banerjee et al 2011). Studies of more than 5000 Canadian school children aged between 5 and 14 showed that 38 percent reported cases of being bullied at least once or twice during the course of their school term (O’Connell et al 1999). In the UK, 46 percent of children say they have been bullied at some point at school with another 66 percent claiming to have seen others being bullied (Simpson 2010).

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    What is bullying?

    Some literature asserts bullying is simply the systematic abuse of power (Smith and Elliott 2010; Smith and Elliott 2011) while others say it is negative action (physical or verbal) with hostile intent repeated over time and involving a power differential where one person with power victimises another who cannot defend themselves (O’Connell et al 1999). In many cases where bullying occurs, there is always an imbalance in strength between the bully and the victim, what Olweus (1993) termed as a asymmetric power relationship. Simpson (2010) further added that situations where social power is used negatively to victimize because of perceived ‘difference’ can also be termed as bullying.

    Smith and Elliott (2010: 2011) offer examples of bullying which can be in any form such hitting other people (physical), teasing and abuse of other people (verbal), excluding other people socially or telling peers not to play with someone (social exclusion), and harm through mobile phone or the internet or what Banerjee (2011) refers to as cyber bullying. Picture below shows the most common types of bullying reported in the UK and verbal bullying like calling people bad names is the worst.

    Picture 1: Bullying in UK schools

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