Students’ Perspectives on Bullying
Abstract: The aim of the present thesis was to listen to, examine and conceptualise students’ perspectives on bullying. Students’ perspectives have not been commonly heard in research and less qualitative research has been conducted. This study contributes with students’ perspectives on bullying using semi-structured interviews with students from fourth-to eighth grade.This thesis includes four studies. The aim with paper I was to investigate how bystander actions in bullying situations and reasons behind these actions were articulated. Paper II was a comparison study between Sweden and US, focused on how students articulate and discuss what factors influence students’ decisions to defend or not defend victims when witnessing bullying. The aim in Paper III was to study how students themselves discuss, reason and make sense of how and why bullying processes emerges in their social worlds. In paper IV the aim was to study how junior high school girls discuss and understand bullying. Findings reveal that students’ reactions as bystanders to bullying depend on how they define the situation. Explanations to the emergence of bullying were understood through a complex social ordering of belonging process. Students position themselves and others in striving to belong, and when defining victims as responsible for bullying. Social norms and negotiation of identities were also discussed among the students. Students discussed how gender and a normative peer structure, where a pressure to fit in, interlinked with how they understood bullying.
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