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Evolution of the Definition of Bullying

The above definition of bullying seems clear but the definition of bullying is fluid today because of societal and technological changes. Because of these changes it is also difficult to arrive at a final or closed definition of what constitutes bullying.

Societal Changes

Typically, traditional forms of bullying have fallen into three categories: physical (hitting, kicking), verbal (name-calling, teasing) and social (ignoring or isolating). Older generations saw or experienced bullying as children but it often involved physical contact. It is now recognized, however, that bullying may be passive, as in rumors, exclusion or manipulation. Today, it is recognized that bullying may be centered around the use of psychological methods.

Technological Changes

The difficulty in defining bullying is also further complicated by the introduction of cyberbullying discussed in more detail below.