Bullying and Emotional Abuse in the Workplace: International Perspectives in Research and Practice

By Ståle Einarsen; Helge Hoel et al. | Go to book overview

3

Bully/victim problems in school

Basic facts and an effective intervention programme 1

Dan Olweus

Bullying among schoolchildren is certainly a very old phenomenon. The fact that some children are frequently and systematically harassed and attacked by other children has been described in literary works, and many adults have personal experience of it from their own school days. Though many are acquainted with the bully/victim problem, it was not until fairly recently - in the early 1970s - that the phenomenon was made the object of more systematic research (Olweus, 1973a, 1978). For a number of years, these efforts were largely confined to Scandinavia. In the 1980s and early 1990s, however, bullying among schoolchildren attracted attention in other countries such as Japan, Ireland, Great Britain, The Netherlands, Australia, Canada and the USA. There are now clear indications of an increasing societal as well as research interest into bully/victim problems in several parts of the world.


What is meant by bullying?

A much-used definition of bullying or victimisation is the following: A student is being bullied or victimised when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other students (e.g. Olweus, 1986a, 1993a, 1996b). It is a negative action when someone intentionally inflicts, or attempts to inflict, injury or discomfort upon another - basically what is implied in the definition of aggressive behaviour in the social sciences (Olweus, 1973b). Negative actions can be carried out by physical contact, by words, or in other ways, such as by making faces or mean gestures, spreading rumours, and intentional exclusion from a group. Although children or youth who engage in bullying very likely vary in their degree of awareness of how the bullying is perceived by the victim, most or all of them probably realise that their behaviour is at least somewhat painful or unpleasant to the victim.

In order for the term bullying to apply, there should also be an imbalance in strength (an asymmetric power relationship). The student who is exposed to the negative actions has difficulty in defending himself or herself and is somewhat helpless against the student or students who

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Bullying and Emotional Abuse in the Workplace: International Perspectives in Research and Practice
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations ix
  • Preface xiii
  • Part 1 - The Problem 1
  • 1 - The European Tradition 3
  • 2 - American Perspectives on Workplace Bullying 31
  • 3 - Basic Facts and an Effective Intervention Programme 62
  • 4 - What is Sexual Harassment? 79
  • Part 2 - The Evidence 101
  • 5 - Introduction 103
  • 6 - Introduction 127
  • 7 - Introduction 145
  • Part 3 - Explaining the Problem 163
  • 8 - Victims and Perpetrators 165
  • 9 - A Social Interactionist Perspective 185
  • 10 - Introduction 203
  • 11 - Why Should We Listen to Employee Accounts? 219
  • 12 - A Postmodern Experience 231
  • 13 - Development, Implementation and Monitoring 247
  • 14 - Introduction 259
  • 15 - Introduction 270
  • 16 - The Role of Occupational Health Services 285
  • 17 - A Systematic Approach Model 299
  • 18 - The Example of South Africa 312
  • 19 - Introduction 327
  • 20 - Introduction 339
  • 21 - Introduction 359
  • 22 - A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing? 370
  • 23 - The Collective Dimension 383
  • 24 - Towards a Transnational Consensus? 399
  • 25 - The Way Forward 412
  • Subject Index 417
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