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The social ecology of girls' bullying practices : exploratory research in two London schools

Jamal, Farah and Bonell, Chris and Harden, Angela and Lorenc, Theo (2015) The social ecology of girls' bullying practices : exploratory research in two London schools. Sociology of Health and Illness. ISSN 0141-9889. DOI 10.1111/1467-9566.12231

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Abstract

This exploratory study adopts a socio-ecological approach to examine the context of school bullying. It asks: (1) what are students' accounts of bullying practices?; (2) how are these enabled and constrained by the school-environment?; (3) how is gender implicated? Qualitative data were collected from girls in two schools in London via focus groups (one in each school; students aged 12-15) and seven semi-structured interviews (in one school; students aged 16-18); and from school policy documents. Our interpretation of girls' accounts, informed by Giddens' structuration theory, suggests that bullying practices were spatially patterned in the schools and often characterised by the regulation of girls' sexuality and sexual-harassment. Repeated acts of aggression were fluid with regard to the bully and victim role, challenging the dominant view of bullying as characterised by consistent disparities in power between individuals. Schools structured bullying behaviour via policies and practices that ignored these forms of abuse and which focused on and may have been complicit in the making of stable 'bully' and 'victim' roles, thus indirectly contributing to the reproduction of unhealthy relationships between students. In terms of gender, traditional gendered and sexual discourses appear to structure the identities of the schools and girls in our study.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2015 The Authors. Sociology of Health & Illness © 2015 Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness/John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Depositing User: Atira Pure
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2015 15:12
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2015 15:12
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