The established and the outsiders: cyberbullying as an exclusionary process

Corliss, Cindy L. (2017) The established and the outsiders: cyberbullying as an exclusionary process. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Cyberbullying has become increasingly problematic over the past decade with extreme instances of young people committing suicide due to their victimisation. While the prevalence of cyberbullying along with its effects have been researched and identified, the theoretical underpinnings for determining why young people engage in these behaviours has been under researched. A clear understanding behind the motivations into cyberbullying as exclusion is necessary in order to help decrease the behaviours as well as addressing deficiencies in defining what cyberbullying is.

This study used a mixed methods design, first using quantitative data via a survey designed to target pupils (n=450) in three Catholic Secondary schools in Glasgow, Scotland. Second, qualitative data was collected through interviews with educational professionals (n=13; nine teachers, four non-teacher educators). The discussion of findings focuses on the perceptions of cyberbullying through the eyes of educators and how they understand and recognise the exclusionary process. To facilitate understanding cyberbullying as exclusion, the results of this study were explored through the lens of the Established and Outsiders framework.

The research finds that while teachers are undereducated and uninformed on social media and cyberbullying, young people continue to increase their knowledge and access to these sites for both socialisation and exclusion, which is having a significant effect on their physical and metal well being. While most young people surveyed claim not to have been victims of cyberbullying, the evidence from both the survey and interviews agree that girls were more likely to engage in cyberbullying as both victim and bully. Teachers from the three participating schools experienced challenges in understanding and recognising cyberbullying and the usage of social media by young people. Their abilities to recognise these behaviours were often underpinned by their lack of training in areas of technology in conjunction with their negative attitudes toward social media.

This study enriches the wider literature by examining cyberbullying as exclusion through the lens of Elias’s Established and Outsider framework, providing a novel approach to understanding the exclusionary process. The study also provides evidence asserting the need for providing in-service teachers education, training and support in understanding and recognising cyberbullying behaviours.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Cyberbullying, established and outsiders, exclusion, bullying, young people, social media, teachers, educators, Norbert Elias.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: Furlong, Prof. Andy and Doyle, Dr. Lesley
Date of Award: 2017
Depositing User: Dr Cindy Corliss
Unique ID: glathesis:2017-8175
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 23 May 2017 08:39
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2017 12:18

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