Bullying is a form of aggression and is usually defined as the act of intimidating a weaker person to make them do something while discouraging and frightening them with threats of a most domineering manner.
Randall (1997) describes bullying as "the aggressive behaviour arising from the deliberate intent to cause physical and psychological distress to others". Another descriptive definition of bullying is Besag's (1989) which represents a good recognition of the principal elements of bullying: "Bullying is repeated attacks - physical, psychological, social or verbal - by those in a position of power, which is formally or situationally defined, on those who are powerless to resist, with the intention of causing distress for their own gain or gratification". Bullying consists of a wide range of coercive behaviours that can often be classified into verbal and physical bullying. Physical bullying includes hitting, pushing, holding and various others hostile gestures.
Verbal bullying on the other hand includes threatening, humiliating, degrading, teasing, name-calling, put-downs, sarcasm, staring and ostracizing. There is also indirect bullying which includes spreading nasty stories about someone, gossiping or excluding people from social groups like games. Recently another form of bullying has become popular, which is called cyber bullying where actions like sending nasty emails, texts or making nasty phone calls are directed especially to weaker people.
Recently there's been much increased awareness of bullying in schools and whilst it may appear that bullying is on the increase, many suspect there's been little change in the amount of bullying that goes on in school. What has changed is that society is at last beginning to recognise just how vile bullying is and that the myths and misperceptions are just that - myths and misperceptions. Those who perpetuate these myths are choosing to be part of...