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Bullying and Cyberbullying by Richard Donegan — 33

Bullying and Cyberbullying:

Introduction

Each day school children learn valuable skills and lessons from their teachers as well as through interactions with their peers. Although school, undoubtedly, is beneficial to America’s youth, there are some experiences, such as bullying, that may negatively affect and stick with these children for the rest of their lives. Certain children find an outlet for their frustrations through bullying others. In the past, these actions could be better controlled because they were limited to face-to-face interactions. However, in recent years, this age-old conflict has matched the pace of technological evolutions, making it more dangerous and harder to contain. Cell phones, social media sites, chat rooms, and other forms of technology have allowed bullying to expand into cyberspace. This new form of abuse is known as cyberbullying. The following research paper focuses on both traditional bullying and cyberbullying. The paper provides background information about bullying, defines the problem and where it is focused, looks at the clinical and legal issues that surround both forms of bullying, and discusses possible preventative programs. II. History of Bullying

Bullying, a definition
The word “bully” can be traced back as far as the 1530s. (Harper, 2008). In its most basic sense bullying involves two people, a bully or intimidator and a victim. The bully abuses the victim through physical, * Keywords: bullying, cyber bullying, law, statistics, preventio

Abstract

Bullying has been engrained in American society since the country’s founding. Bred from a capitalistic economy and competitive social hierarchy, bullying has remained a relevant issue through the years. Technological bullying, known today as cyberbullying, has allowed the problem to expand, become more elusive, and even harder to define. A thorough analysis of various case studies, statistical research, law cases, and news articles was conducted to understand the issue of cyberbullying and to find preventative measures that should be taken. This paper illuminates the background situation, current legal struggles, clinical implications, and potential preventative steps concerning bullying and cyberbullying alike.

II. History of Bullying

Bullying, a definition
The word “bully” can be traced back as far as the 1530s. (Harper, 2008). In its most basic sense bullying involves two people, a bully or intimidator and a victim. The bully abuses the victim through physical, * Keywords: bullying, cyber bullying, law, statistics, prevention Email: rdonegan 34 — The Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications • Vol. 3, No. 1 • Spring 2012 verbal, or other means in order to gain a sense of superiority and power. These actions may be direct (i.e. hitting, verbally assaulting face-to-face, etc.) or indirect (i.e. rumors, gossip, etc.). Origins of bullying

The desire to survive is instinctual and common among all living things. Survival is associated directly with competition due to the multitude of species and limited natural resources on the planet. Since the beginning of time there has been a constant drive to out-perform others and overcome obstacles. This survival instinct, along with a competitive atmosphere, has remained the same as the human race has evolved. Both of these forces have flowed over into the educational, social, and economic realms. This competitive hierarchy, though prevalent in most societies, varies across cultures depending on their ethical systems, traditions, and the type of control exerted by the government. Unfortunately, the U.S. capitalistic society inadvertently pushes the belief that success and wealth go hand in hand. This ideology has shaped a nation where bullying is unintentionally instilled as a survival tactic from a very young age. From the time an American...
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