Bullying is a worldwide and large-scale phenomenon. However, due to the fact that the issue of bullying continues to be scantily explored, there is still no clear scientific conception of the term. The concept of bullying is understood by some authors differently and different qualification of its kinds is given.
Bullying is relatively a new conception of modern life. From the daily definition of the word it is transformed into an international term and contains a number of social, psychological, legal and pedagogical issues. Although, the word is a new phenomenon for us, unfortunately, we know very well, that it is one of the most topical problems of our time, requiring thorough studies of it. But the lack of sufficient information about bullying is an obstacle to the resolution of this important issue for us.
School bullying is a social phenomenon, which is widespread today in Russia, the USA, Canada, Japan and almost all the countries of Europe. At the same time, this phenomenon is little studied, but we can hardly call this term the new one. People began to speak and write about the problem of bullying at the beginning of the XX century in the world, but serious researches were started in the West nearly 30 years ago.
Bullying includes four main components:
- aggressive and negative demeanor;
- bullying is carried out regularly;
- it occurs in relationships, in which the participants have unequal power;
- such a demeanor is intentional.
The victim of bullying can be any child, but this child, who is usually chosen by someone, is weaker or somehow different from the others. The most common victims of school coercion are children who have:
- Physical defects. The children with such disabilities as wearing glasses, hearing loss or disturbance of movements (for example, CP), those who can’t give an adequate resistance to protect themselves – are bullied more often;
- Peculiarities of demeanor. The children with “closed” character (introverts and phlegmatic people) or children with impulsive demeanor became the target for mockeries and aggression. In some extent, hyperactive children are too intrusive, but they are more naive and direct than their peers. They are penetrating too deeply into the personal space of other children and adults: get into other people’s conversations, games, impose their views, are impatient in waiting for their turn in the game, etc. For these reasons, they are often irritating and get “back hit.”
- Features of appearance. All that distinguishes the child’s appearance from the others, may be the object of mockeries: red hair, freckles, protruding ears, crooked legs, the special shape of the head, body weight (obesity or thinness), and so on.
- Poor social skills. There are children, who have not developed a psychological defense against verbal and physical violence, due to the lack of experience of communication and self-expression. Compared with children, whose social skills are developed in accordance with their age, the children with underdeveloped social skills are easier to accept the role of victim.
- Fear of school. The children often have this fear, when they go to school with negative social expectations. Sometimes this fear is induced by parents, who have had problems at school age, too. A child, who shows the uncertainty and fear of school, is the easier target for jeers of classmates;
- The lack of life experience in a group (home children). The children, who didn’t attend the children’s group before school, may not have the necessary skills to cope with problems in communication. At the same time, they can often exceed by their erudition and abilities the other children, who went to the children garden;
Diseases. There are many disorders, which cause jibes and bullying of peers: epilepsy, tics, stuttering, speech disorders, dysgraphia (illiterate writing), dyslexia (disorders of reading learning), dyscalculia (disorders of calculation learning), etc.