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Bullying as a Socio-cultural Phenomenon

This theory identifies individuals most at risk of victimization because of a perceived difference and therefore considered a threat to wider group norms. It can include students from disadvantaged backgrounds, students from minority ethnic groups, and students with learning difficulties or disabilities. The curricular approaches to anti-bullying in schools address the socio-cultural phenomenon through events which celebrate diversity and promote acceptance of individuality. Research presents mixed evidence whereby victimization is more likely to happen in large, inner city schools, which are typified by a multicultural population with low social economic status and a high level of need. In support of these findings, there is evidence of victimization in schools serving students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Children with learning difficulties are especially at risk of school bullying.

The relationship between the ethnicity of a school and level of bullying is also evidenced but the case for prejudiced bullying remains unclear. The variation in ethnic minority groups represented on a global or even national level may impact on consistency of results. In a recent study of Asian student bullying experiences, name-calling and teasing of cultural differences was reported among Hindu, Indian Muslim, and Pakistani students, suggesting that studies of ethnicity-based bullying involving majority-minority interaction should also consider inter-group interactions.