Racist Bullying in English Secondary Schools Term Paper

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¶ … racist bullying in United Kingdom schools. The writer explains what the study will be about and what methodology will be used to complete the study.

Proposal to study the topic of 'Racist bullying in English secondary schools

Bullying in schools is not a new event but seems to be on the rise in recent years. Whether one lives in the UK, the U.S. Or some other part of the industrialized world, one has heard news stories about students being the target of bullying or reacting to being bullied in sensational ways (Smaby, 2005). (Levinson, 2004)

Bullying is a significant, pervasive form of school violence (Batsche, 1997). Olweus (1993), who is considered by many researchers to be the leading expert on peer victimization, offers a general definition of bullying that includes repeated exposure to negative actions by one or more students over time. Olweus (1993) further defined a negative action as a purposeful attempt to injure or inflict discomfort on another, either through words, physical contact, gestures, or exclusion from a group.

Bullying is extremely broad-based in its scope and nature. In the U.S. alone approximately 25% of students surveyed reported being the target of bullying during their school years.

The problem increased when the study focused exclusively on secondary students, at which time it was found that 77% of participants had been involved with bullying either as the target or the culprit (Smaby, 2005).

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The results of a survey by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (Nansel et al., 2001) identified over 3 million victims and over 3.5 million bullies between grades 6-10 nationwide. Additional research indicates that bullying is a global problem, citing studies in numerous other countries that find bullying a problematic and widespread phenomenon (Smaby, 2005). Unfortunately, some research has found instances of bullying to be on the rise (Indicators of School Crime and Safety, 2003) (Smaby, 2005)."

Term Paper on Racist Bullying in English Secondary Schools Assignment

There has been scientific evidence that bullied students have more physical symptoms including headaches, stomach aches and lack of sleep. In a survey of Australian secondary school students the research team found that victimized students had an across the board higher incidence of poor health and health issues that were not experienced by those who had not been bullied.

Although these physical consequences are concerning, most of the harm caused by bullying is emotional in nature (Smaby, 2005). A study of the effects of bullying on psychiatric symptoms found victims and perpetrators to both suffer mental health consequences years after the bullying occurred (Smaby, 2005)."

The targets are not the only students that suffer from bullying problems. Studies have determined that bullies themselves are more likely to end up in court for delinquent behaviors. In addition they are more likely to bring weapons to school.

Those who witness bullying are also negatively impacted as they are often left feeling fear for their own safety and the safety of others.

This proposal seeks to understand the incidence of bullying that is founded in racism and how often it occurs.


There are many valid research methods used in the world of science today. Each research team must determine what method will work best for that particular study.

There are many factors to consider in choosing a methodology for a study. One must consider the cost, the geographic issues, the number of participants needed, the time frame in which the data will be gathered and the way information will be analyzed.

Once these things are determined then the research team must look at the methodologies available to them and choose the one that best meets all of the study goals and needs.

For a method to be chosen for this study, it is important to determine what definition of bullying will be used. In the case of this study the research will focus on bullying that is driven by racism. Across the globe racial issues have continued to create problems for society. In the secondary education level of United Kingdom students there have been news reports about racially motivated bullying being carried to extremes (Levinson, 2004).

This study will focus on those racially motivated bullying acts and try to determine how often they occur and what the possible motivator is behind them.

Research has identified bullying as being ongoing, unsolicited, and frequently not physically injurious (Hoover, Oliver, & Thomson, 1993; Olweus, 1993) (Levinson, 2004). Essentially, bullying is the process of establishing and maintaining social dominance through overt aggression and doing so in ways that victims are unable to deflect because of their lack of skills, their inability to effectively integrate with peers, or their inability to develop subgroups of peers (Levinson, 2004)."

In choosing a methodology for this study it is important to note there have been few studies conducted thus far that examined the racial motivation behind bullying and the researchers were unable to find any study that concentrated on racially motivated bullying at the English secondary level of education.

There are however, studies on bullying that can be examined to determine the best methodology to use for this study's purpose.

Research into the best methods to examine bullying has concluded that unstructured observations and structured observations have strengths and weaknesses inherent to their nature.

In an unstructured observation situation the observer choose areas of the school where bullying is most likely to occur, including locker rooms, parking lots and cafeterias. The observer then observes and records any acts of bullying he or she witnesses.

In a structured observation method researchers in the past have compared duration, frequency and type of bullying that was observed in various settings.

Observational assessment has both strengths and weaknesses. Direct observational methods can be used to provide unbiased analyses of focal participants' behavior in certain circumstances, and such methods are objective when definitions are clearly articulated and interpreter reliability is established (Levinson, 2004)."

This is an inexpensive method of study which has the potential to produce valuable insight and information to the problem of bullying. The main weakness of this method is that the results do not often correlate well when time has passed. The weakness can be reduced by being sure to sample behavior in more than one setting and for longer periods of time.

For the purpose of this study the observation method was rejected due to the fact that the students who will be studied will be older and will have a higher probability of not being open and blatant in their bullying patterns.

Interviewing is another valid research method being used in studies today. Interviews allow the researcher to ask more in-depth questions than would be available using a survey method or an observation method.

An interview provides the opportunity for the interviewee to expand on answers and provide more detail.

Qualitative reports of victimization have been used with female middle school students to develop a comprehensive interview of victimization experiences, including details or characteristics of bullying events, perceptions of relationships with the perpetrators, and emotional and behavioral coping responses. When interviews are conducted by personnel outside of a school system, students may be less concerned about revealing sensitive information to school administrators and may be better able to discuss the motivation of students who demonstrate antisocial behavior as well as the effectiveness of anti-bullying intervention strategies (Levinson, 2004)."

The most noted weakness of using an interview method for research is the amount of time that it takes to implement.

For the purpose of this study proposal, interviewing was chosen as the methodology. It will allow the researcher to dig more deeply into the topic of bullying to get an insight into which incidents are racially motivated and which are not racially motivated.

Data Analysis

The interviews will be conducted over a three-month period and will then be analyzed through examining the interviews to determine what if any recurring themes present themselves.

When this style of data analyzed is used it is important to maintain a log of themes as they come out of the interview material so that the researcher can determine if a theme begins to recur.

This will be especially important in determining which bullying incidents are racially motivated and which are not racially motivated.

Once the recurring themes are extracted from the information provided through interviews an initial report discussing the recurring themes will be prepared. Recurring themes that are determined not to be racially motivated will be discarded for the purpose of this study, though they may be used at later dates for different studies.

Recurring themes that appear to be racially motivated will then be compiled in a study report to help determine their root and triggers.

Ethical Issues

Throughout the study there will have to be care taken to maintain the integrity and ethical pureness of the results that are gathered.

This will be done by providing the interviewer with a practice guideline about what questions to ask so that each interview is conducted in similar manner, though the answers from the participants will be encouraged to expand… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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