While bullying has been commonplace through the ages, it has become the subject of ongoing social and political discussion in more recent years. Once considered harmless, school yard bullying has reached new heights and concerted efforts are being made around the globe to combat its harmful effects. As Barbara Colorosa stated it is a “short walk from schoolyard bullying the taunting the shunning the rumor the gossip that punch to a hate crime to genocide” (3:27-3:34). This paper will identify, define and discuss the most important step in the student’s guide to research necessary in order to analyze bullying. Further it the paper will explain the relationship between bullying and the agents of socialization.
Identification of critical step
Before embarking on any type of research, one must be aware of the issue and therefore understand the term so as to frame the research question. With respect to bullying, the student must have a thorough understanding of the term bullying. Colorosa defines bullying as “a conscious willful deliberate hostile activity intended to harm where you get pleasure from somebody else’s pain” (5:20-28). With that said, the research question can then be framed. Keeping in mind Colorosa’s definition and applying it to the information in the text, this means that the student needs to “scratch where it itches” and ask a question that will invoke discussion, allow for investigation, suggest cause/effect opportunities. Through brainstorming efforts, observation of social practices and behaviors, the student formulates a precise research question. Utilizing the information in Colorosa’s TED Talk, a potential research question might be “what role does complicit parenting play in schoolyard bullying in middle school boys, where active bullying will be measured as verbal attack, physical attack, shunning, name-calling, and passive bullying is defined as being a by-stander?”

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Relationship of Bullying with Agents of Socialization
For the purpose of this discussion the agents of socialization addressed are parents; the subject of the research question. In an ideal parent-child relationship the parents models positive behaviors in various situations. These behaviors: humane and ethical treatment of others, self-esteem and value, compassion and empathy, and a sense of right and wrong, are important constructs that if not taught and modeled can leave a child feeling lost and vulnerable to the pressures of bullying. In the home where one parent, or both, is overbearing and unreasonable the child learns negative behaviors that are projected on to others. In essence the child models what they’ve learned; what they’ve learned out of fear. As Carolosa explains “the unquestioning obedience to authority” (7:16) in the home is the first of three factors that lead to genocide, the ultimate end of bullying. She argues that it is imperative to teach children how to think, how to stand up for what is right, in order to change the current climate. As Carolosa points out to parents “your children are watching you. See hate is not normal, natural or necessary. It’s a learned behavior” (16:31-37). When parents model behavior that dehumanizes a child, reduces the child to an IT, and that child models that same behavior in the schoolyard, then the parent becomes a complicit partner in the act of schoolyard bullying.

Reference

  • Colorosa, B. (2014, February 20). From School Yard Bullying to Genocide. TEDxCalgary. Retrieved March 12, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkG0nssouF