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Title: Exploring social constructions regarding bullying between children in schools by adult stakeholders working in the British education system
Author: Boys, Alexandra
ISNI:       0000 0004 5920 7655
Awarding Body: University of Portsmouth
Current Institution: University of Portsmouth
Date of Award: 2015
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A tension between what people consider to be bullying in schools has been identified by reviews of previous positivist research into the phenomenon. Questions have subsequently been raised as to why there is such disparity leading to the application of social constructionism as an alternative means of exploring bullying in schools. The aim of this thesis was to complement the existing literature on bullying by exploring the social constructions regarding bullying in schools from adult stakeholders working with children in the British education system. Four studies were conducted in total with an ethnographic element reflected throughout where I am a practising Educational Psychologist (EP), parent and former teacher. Three studies employed the principles of social constructionism collecting examples of conversations conducted in a social and naturalistic context. The first study explored a conversation between me and my EP colleagues. The second study collected data from the staff meeting discussions at four primary schools. The third study explored government guidance to schools on bullying. In the final study, I shared the data collected from my first three studies with a group of parents and the discussion that followed completed the data collection process. Principles of the Discourse Analytic tradition were employed to analyse the data; discursive practice analysis, Foucauldian Analysis, Critical Discursive Psychology, Critical Discourse Analysis and the Discursive Action Model. The analyses reflected variability in how the different groups constructed bullying due to the contexts, histories, cultures and experiences influencing those involved. Furthermore, each group positioned itself as having the ‘right’ construction of bullying and as being best placed to correct those held by others. From the analyses I would recommend that if a child constructs themselves as being bullied the situation should be addressed rather than debating whether it is bullying.
Supervisor: Linnell, Margaret Elizabeth ; Jingree, Treena ; Hoskins, Sherria Linda Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Psychology