The subject of bullying is one that has attracted significant attention in society over the past years owing to its common practice. It has today integrated the aspects of workplaces and the cyber space. The practice of bullying society is linked to the existence of various disparities among the people, like class, gender, religious affiliations, racial inclination or appearance.
This research proposal is aimed at drawing attention to the prevailing situation of bullying in society, giving a comprehensive analysis of how and where it takes place as well as explaining the reasons behind its sustenance in the society. It will also discuss the ignorance in society, especially among the parents with regards to this subject, which is among the key issues that contribute to the prevalence of this social vice. The fundamental issues that influenced this study and the objectives are clearly indicated and explained. The research contains three major sides of this subject; bullying in the workplace, school bullying and cyber bullying.
Keywords: Bullying, cyber bullying, victims, perpetrators, workplace bullying
Bullying is a practice that has been viewed with lots of attention in society over the past years. Bullying is linked to the use of threats or power in coercing or abusing other people. It could also be referred to as the application of force in exercising control over others. Olweus (1999) says that bullying could be defined as the use of aggressive behavior in a recurring manner, and whereby there is an imbalance of power to the extent that the victim is rendered unable to defend him or herself. The vice has today spread out to the level of common prevalence in places of work and cyber space. The nature of bullying is often connected to the existence of various disparities in society, like gender, religion, race, sexuality, behavior, size, ability or strength (Erickson, 2006).
The bullying rates have significantly gone up in society with several reports indicating that an estimated 15% of the students are either exposed to regular bullying or become initiators of the practice (Olweus, 1993). However, the exercise of this vice was extended to places of work and cyberspaces, where it has been increasingly been applied (Cowie, Naylor, Rivers, Smith & Pereira, 2002).
Rationale for Research
The avenues that have been pursued by this subject in society today influenced the need for addressing it since very little efforts have been made towards the same. It has been highlighted that those who take part in bullying others while at school in many occasions, usually keep on showing the delinquent practice even in adulthood. According to a study carried out on those considered as bullies in grades 6 to 9, an estimated 60% were found to have had at least one legal conviction by the age of 24 years (Olweus, 1993). On the other hand, the subjects of bullying become evident to the isolation in school since their fellow peers are usually not willing to give up their status my mixing up with them or even placing themselves at the risk of being bullied (Olweus, 1993).
Bullying in the workplace has also been a major concern owing to the fact that it is one of the main issues that are prevalent in the working environment. Most of the departments in professional companies as well as trade unions are being enlightened on the prevalence of this practice in the form of public humiliation, social exclusion, intimidation, use of offensive names, which can potentially harm the confidence and integrity of employees, thereby negatively impacting efficiency. The victims of bullying also reported that the act impacts their mental and physical wellbeing with majority of them complaining of low self esteem, stress and depression (Olweus, 1993).
As one of the dimensions of the subject of bullying, cyber bullying has also significantly increased with its effects on the victims being showcased in many cases of suicide among the youth (Schneider, O’Donnell, Stueve & Coulter, 2012). This means of bullying has been enhanced through the fact that offenders have reduced responsibility to the extent of even facial interactions, and the fact that it is committed over the internet has enabled the perpetrators to remain anonymous.
This study was driven by various objectives. One was the need to measure the existence of bullying among the youth and also the determination of the relation between bullying and being bullied with regards to psychological adjustment, which includes school adjustment, problem behavior, parenting, social and emotional adjustment. Besides, there was also need for determining the extent to which bullying is prevalent in other areas like workplaces with many organizations realizing the importance of change of culture in places of work places, which has impacted the quest for the development of clear organization policies to offer protection against bullying of employees.
The fact that very little efforts have been made towards solving the problem of bullying indicates its prevalence in society. In many situations, parents are usually unaware of the practice of bullying. Besides, many rarely talk about the subject with their children (Olweus, 1993). Due to this, the victims of bullying are fully convinced that the intervention of parents would not provide any significant solution, instead, worsen the situation.
According to a shared opinion from a group of students interviewed on the subject of bullying, those who are victimized partly bear the responsibility of being victims. They were also in agreement that the subject made the victims to become tougher, considering that most of them undergo the experiences when they are quite weak. Some of those surveyed also expressed the opinion that bullying taught the victims the appropriate behavior. This is clearly shown by the fact that very little efforts have been made towards educating the public on bullying and its impacts on both the victims and those who commit the acts (Charach, Pepler & Ziegler, 1995).
Definition of Terms
Bullying is the exercise of blustering, quarreling or intimidating people who are smaller or weaker in society.
Cyber bullying is an act of causing distress to another person over the internet through sending or communication of mean messages in anonymity.
Perpetrators are particular individuals who commit the offense of bullying or bully others.
Prevalence is the widespread or existence of bullying
Victims are the people who are particularly exposed to suffering as a result of bullying
Victimization is an act of being made to be part of the victims of bullying.
Bullying has significantly increased in society, with several reports revealing that an estimated 15% of students go through bullying on a regular basis or become initiators of the practice itself. This menace has now been extended to the places of work and the cyberspace. The prevalence of this issue has been influenced by the less attention that has been given to this subject. There have also been cases of arising issues like cyber bullying and bullying in the workplace, which require critical measures towards ensuring that it is prevented and reduced in future.
Charach, A., Pepler, D., & Ziegler, S. (1995). Bullying at school – A Canadian perspective: A survey of problems and suggestions for intervention. Education Canada, 35 (1), 12-18.
Cowie, H., Naylor, P., Rivers, I., Smith, P. K., & Pereira, B. (2002). Measuring workplace bullying. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 7(1), 33-51.
Olweus, D. (1993). Bullying at school: What we know and what we can do. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell. ED 384-437.
Olweus, D. (1999). Sweden. In: P. K. Smith, Y. Morita, J. Junger-Tas, D. Olweus, R. Catalano, & P. Slee (Eds.), The nature of school bullying: a cross-national perspective (p.7–27). London: Routledge.
Schneider, S. K., O’Donnell, L., Stueve, A., & Coulter, R. (2012). Cyberbullying, school bullying, and psychological distress: A regional census of high school students. American Journal of Public Health, 102(1), 171-7. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/ docview/1004790733?accountid=1611