Examining the lived experience of bullying: A review of the literature from an Australian perspective

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Bullying in schools is a significant and continuing issue in education. This is despite widespread attention within the professional education community and beyond, into the wider public arena. In this paper we review the existing literature on bullying in schools, with a particular focus on the Australian secondary school context, to develop a position that questions the bully/victim binary pervading public discourse and educational research In doing this we identify common themes within the literature including: definitions of bullying; responses and interventions to bullying; discourses of bullying in schools; and the role of stakeholders involved in managing and responding to bullying incidents. Based on this review, we argue that much of the literature approaches the topic from an individual and psychological point of view and there are multiple problems related to both methodology and representation. There appears to be an absence of research about the broader social contexts and processes in which bullying occurs , while there is a strong argument for its importance. From this basis we briefly speculate on alternative approaches that potentially address such concerns and allow for new approaches to a continuing problem, in Australia and internationally.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-155
Number of pages14
JournalPastoral Care in Education
Issue number2
Early online dateDec 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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