Bullying in the School Ground

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Introduction to Contemporary Society


ACAP Student ID: 185017

Name: Sharon Stewart

Course: Bachelor of Applied Social Science.

ASSESSMENT DETAILS : Compare and contrast the reporting of the social issue that was identified in assignment 1.

Unit/Module ICS_T311_A2

Educator: Guy Vicars

Assessment Name:
Assessment Number: Academic Essay: 2

Term & Year: T3_2011

Word Count: 1923

I declare that this assessment is my own work, based on my own personal research/study . I also declare that this assessment, nor parts of it, has not been previously submitted for any other unit/module or course, and that I have not copied in part or whole or otherwise plagiarised the work of another student and/or persons. I have read the ACAP Student Plagiarism and Academic Misconduct Policy and understand its implications.

Bullying in the school yard has been portrayed extensively through the media and within it’s many mediums. This essay will discuss the social issue of bullying in the school yard in context to the media and the influence the media has in shaping public opinion on the issue. Coleman & Ross (2008) describe the media’s influencing power as follows “The mediated public voice is managed in countless ways. It is edited, cut off in it’s prime, reduced to polling numbers, confined to banal soundbites, marginalised as background noise & rendered unofficial”(p.45). This essay will integrate aspects of the previous essay (Bullying in the school yard – ICS – A1) to highlight and look at the complex nature of the media and topical areas. Using two different newspaper opinion articles, this essay will discuss similarities and differences between the two sources in relation to the issue of bullying in the school yard. This essay will look at how the media portrays bullying in schools, noting how the style and tone is presented in the opinion piece. As suggested by Van Krieken, Habibis, Smith, Hutchins, Martin & Maton (2010), the way the media informs, reflects and influences society suggests a complex relationship between the media and the public. Monks & Coyne (2011) define bullying as “a systematic abuse of power” (p.2). Bullying can be inflicted directly by using physical aggression such as hitting and pushing or non-physical actions like name calling, taunting , teasing, and pushing. Alternatively, bullying can be indirect, by rumour making, cyber bullying, pranks and ostracising (hhtp://Bullying.NoWay.com.au). While both sexes are capable of bullying, research shows that males tend toward the direct form of abuse while, females usually prefer the indirect form of bullying (Monks & Coyne, 2011). Cox (1995) details that depression, anxiety, higher stress levels and illness are more likely to occur in children that have been bullied than those that have not. As noted by Hunter & Boyle (2004), Kochenderfer Ladd (2003) & Skinner (2002) the long term effects of victimisation on children may depend on how the child has reacted to the initial phases of the bullying. Children who endure frequent victimisation tend to use more avoidance strategies which can hinder their long term emotional and social future.(Hunter et al, 2004). It is unlikely biology alone is the reason of why someone may seek dominance over another who may appear weaker or more vulnerable (Lines, 2008). Lines (2008) suggests genes can influence behaviour depending on the child’s context and/or environment .This is one area where the debate over nature versus nurture figures heavily, as it is inside a child’s home that bullying can or often begins (Monks & Coyne,2011). As stated by Lines (2008) “In attempting to understand the motivation of those who become aggressive with...
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