The Moral Dimensions of Bullying at School

Gutzwiller-Helfenfinger, Eveline;
Pädagogische Hochschule Thurgau
Perren, Sonja

The aim of this chapter is to integrate theoretical and empirical findings on bullying and morality in a social-ecological process model, which can be used to guide further research and approaches for preventing bullying. In brief, the model describes how, in the context of the social culture and climate of the classroom and the school, emerging bullying behaviors are reinforced by the initial reactions of peers and teachers and how subsequent moral distancing processes initiate a vicious cycle of intensification and, subsequently, the normalization of bullying and moral disengagement. Before introducing the model, we will briefly summarize previous research on morality and bullying, which has focused predominantly on moral disengagement and empathy. One area to address in future research relates to the sociomoral development and functioning of teachers as key actors in taking responsibility for intervention.


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