Bullying the meek: A conceptualisation of Vietnamese school bullying
2015 (English)In: Research Papers in Education, ISSN 0267-1522, E-ISSN 1470-1146, 1-11 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Drawing on ethnographic research conducted at three lower secondary schools in the northern Vietnamese cities of Hanoi and Haiphong, this article provides a contextually nuanced conceptualisation of Vietnamese school bullying. In doing so, the article not only addresses the lack of knowledge about Vietnamese school bullying, but also poses a number of critical questions about how school bullying is more widely understood. The descriptions of school bullying provided by teachers and students in this article suggest that school bullying cannot be reduced to the negative actions and aggressive intentionality that are so often used to define it in the mainstream literature. Instead, these actions are perceived as instruments for bullying that serve a function in the social and institutional context of the school. Furthermore, the descriptions provided by teachers and students challenge the view of meekness (the passive victim) as an individual personal trait. While they suggest that students who are perceived as meek in the social context of the school are most likely to be bullied, they also highlight that some students accede to the demands of their peers in order to escape being subjected to more direct negative actions. The study thus suggests that a key for understanding the role that bullying plays in students’ day-to-day life at school is to acknowledge the function of ‘meekness’ in bullying situations and to thus place more focus on the social and institutional context within which bullying occurs.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2015. 1-11 p.
Educational Sciences Pedagogical Work
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-118669DOI: 10.1080/02671522.2015.1027728ISI: 000361463000006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-118669DiVA: diva2:816366
Funding: Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA); Vietnam National Institute for Education Sciences (VNIES)2015-06-032015-06-032015-10-19