Peer Pressure - Essay Example

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Date Peer Pressure and Bullying Introduction There is little doubt that bullying is a problem in today’s world. It seems like not a month goes by that there is not a story in the news about a bullied student who takes revenge upon other students in a violent way…
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Peer Pressure
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Download file to see previous pages Peer pressure works by coercing the student into behaviors that he or she might not otherwise engage in, and the implicit message is that the student must engage in this behavior or else they might be shunned from the group. Bullying is associated with peer pressure. The bully takes courage from peers, and this increases the bullying. Moreover, the peers have an implicit agreement not to stop the bullying and not to intervene, and this, too, increases bullying. The students in these social groups engage in rituals, and the rituals might include kicking or punching the bullied victim, and the peer groups do not intervene in this, which also makes the bullying stronger. The peer groups also construct the difference in the victim, which is an important part of bullying. The implicit message to these students is that they cannot intervene, because, if they do, they might be shunned. This essay will examine the nature of bullying and the harm it can cause, and will also examine peer pressure and how it is associated with bullying. Bullying Bullying can result from peer pressure, and Naito & Gielen (2005) look at bullying in Japanese schools. Bullying may have devastating effects, including suicide of the victim. For instance, there was a case of a 13 year old boy in Japan who was the subject of a mock funeral, which was designed to show that he was a failure of a human being. The “funeral” for this young boy consisted of burning incense, displaying his photograph and flowers, and a condolence card that was signed by other students and four of his teachers. The victim of this episode of bullying actually had a real funeral, as he hanged himself (Naito & Gielen, 2005). Naito & Gielen (2005) refer to this type of bullying as Ijime – this means that physical violence is not involved, but the psychological violence that is involved is just as devastating, if not more so, than physical violence. They also studied the determinants of bullying, or, in other words, looked at why bullies became bullies. They found that the school bullies who were studied are oriented towards rule breaking and deviant acts. Moreover, social norms which are too ambiguous to be followed are often the social norms which are most often broken, as the bully is able to interpret ambiguous social rules to suit his own agenda. The bully may see some forms of bullying as being ambiguous and harmless, thinking that they are only joking or teasing, ignoring the serious implications of their actions. Bullying is also accepted because other students around the student being bullied thinks that the situation is fun, which encourages bystanders and audience discounting the feelings of the victim. They also found that classes with frequent bullying are made up of bullies, bullied students, an audience and bystanders – audience consists of students who are amused by the bullying, and bystanders are those who either don't know the victim or pretend not to know the victim. Naito & Gielen (2005) also state that bullying happens more often in classes where there is a perception of a poor moral atmosphere. The victims of bullying are more often than other students to be the ones who are conformists to power and are more likely to conform to school values and norms. The bullies are more likely to want independence from power and have a generally negative attitude towards school values. Bullying is an especially crucial area of school violence to address ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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