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Title: A study of school anti-bullying policy in Taiwan
Author: Chung, Ming-Lun
ISNI:       0000 0004 6350 4855
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis explores the scale of bullying in Taiwanese schools and the impact of school anti-bullying policies. Critical realism is used in this policy-related research to argue against current empirical bullying research mainstream and how it may be possible to conduct scientific policy research in Taiwan. The thesis is divided into two parts, covering the literature review and methodology (four chapters in part one) and analysis of the case study in Taiwan (three chapters in part two). This research endeavours to link critical realism with empirical research to deepen our understanding of the school anti-bullying policy structure in Taiwan. The thesis begins with the exploration of the conceptualisation and development of bullying research in Chapter 2 whose main purpose is to capture the definition of bullying and the prevalence of school bullying in different countries and then illustrate the main research areas and the international trend of bullying research. Following Chapter 2, bullying-related theories and approaches to bullying research are highlighted in Chapter 3 and policy process theories and school anti-bullying policies are touched on in Chapter 4 in term of policy agenda setting, policy formulation and policy implementation consideration. A crucial role is played by Chapter 5 which focuses on the philosophical discussion of critical social research (ontology, epistemology and methodology) with reference to the appropriate use of practical methods and related ethical issues. This chapter sets out to explain how critical realism could function in this research to bridge the gap between the literature review and the case study research. In part two, three chapters discuss the formation of school anti-bullying policy in Taiwan. Chapter 6, which is an historical inquiry, illuminates the trajectory of school regulation policies with regard to the democratic transformation of a political system since 1945 in Taiwan. After the historical discussion, light is shed on empirical inquiry into school anti-bullying policy in Chapter 7, which analyses different debates over school anti-bullying policy and power struggles between four different policy stakeholders. Most importantly, Chapter 8 attempts to theorise the ‘generative mechanism’ behind the policy making process and the inferential logic of knowledge production is also considered at the end of this chapter. In addition, reflection on the generative mechanism and collective agency of community and professional groups in policy making are also involved. The concluding chapter reflects on the use of theories, methodology and the research findings in answer to the research questions and elaborates on the compatibility of critical realism, the critical qualitative case study and school anti-bullying policy research in Taiwan. To be reflexive this chapter finishes by looking at further research directions for policy making and practice between political governance, policy research and school practice.
Supervisor: Walker, Alan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available