Bullying between girls: From friends to feuds and back again
This essay explores bullying among girls with particular focus on the impact bullying can have and strategies which can be implemented within schools. The importance of relationships in the lives of young girls and the consequential instability of these relationships is explored as a key influence uponbullying. The levels of both indirect and direct aggression are compared in relation to methods of bullying employed by girls. Finally the impact that bullying has upon the lives of young girls into the future is also explored which leads to discussion of strategies which may be implemented in schools tohelp reduce the levels of bullying between girls.
: Bullying, relationships, indirect aggression, friendship, conflict
In any situation where people are working alongside each other and building relationships there isan opportunity for bullying to develop as people try to establish their position and relationships intheir working community. Schools hold many young people who everyday are building fragilerelationships and this may mean that many young people become a potential bully or victim withinthe school community. Like the workplace there are a myriad of personalities within our schoolswhich leads to the diverse nature of bullying. Bullying cannot be bound to one specific type of pupilsbut affects many pupils across the school remit as a result of their age, gender, looks, race, ability oreven sexuality. This essay will seek to investigate one element of bullying, girls bullying, and toexplore the impact upon post primary pupils and the strategies schools may use to attempt tocombat this.Before beginning to focus on girls bullying it is important to outline the nature of bullying itself.Within school life there may be many quarrels and innocent arguments on any given day betweenfriends or classmates but Olweus (1993, p.9) defines bullying as
A student is being bullied or victimized when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, tonegative actions on the part of one or mor
e other students’ . Therefore only negative behaviour
repeated over time can be classed as bullying which ensures that silly arguments between friendswhich teachers may hear about on a daily basis are not misconstrued in the search for bullies.Bullying can take many forms but preconceived notions relate bullying as physical violence in theschool often at break or other unsupervised times. The tools of bullies often seen as directaggression are often related to boys with the presumption that girls do not act out with suchaggression but use other forms of abuse.