Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Community Safety Gender Equality Rumour Spread Social Inclusion Social Exclusion Mobbing "Ever wanted to belong? Chances are you already belong to a dysfunctional group." Covert Bullying Cyberbullying Edith Cowan University ECU Social knowledge? Rumour as information? Assumption as knowledge? Emotion as fact? Pete Dowe Gender-Equal Personal, Social and Civic Responsibility Female Aggression

Ever wanted to belong?

Chances are you already belong to a dysfunctional group

Pete Dowe

girls/ women who bully Cyberbullying has become the latest negative tool in the bully’s toolbox. Here, the bully can attack, create cliques, gossip, spread rumors, and character-assassinate their target, anonymously. As a result of the anonymity of the Internet, this relational aggression is particularly toxic. Girls are so dependent on relationships that some have been known to go to sleep with their cell phones. So you can imagine how girls feel when they view Facebook pictures of groups they are not included in, parties they have been left out of, and relationships they don’t have... never mind being defriended. This kind of trauma can lead to jealousy, feelings of rejection, sadness, depression, and even suicide. When women bully, and they do, it is often related to both competition and judgment. Judgment offers control and it has the capacity to lead to cruelty. However, this need for control can be a compensation in women for both self-scrutiny and the fear of being seen. The insecurity of believing that our personal flaws may become visible and therefore attacked, creates the all too familiar internal dialogue of criticism, that inner voice from early childhood that answers to our own feelings of unworthiness and low self-esteem. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-gail-gross/girls-who-bully-and-the-women-they-learn-from_b_4034100.html

“The question of why other members of the group participate (in rumour spread) appears to be related to their need to belong and their fear of being excluded [186; 187]. 
For example, while many students may not agree with bullying [188; 189], most students fail to support the person being bullied [190]. 

Studies of adolescent cliques suggest that while clique members may not believe the rumours they are told, their main reason for going along with it is for fear of exclusion [191]

As Garandeau and Cillessen [139] suggest, bullying in this way becomes like following a trend, a ‘fashionable’ thing to do, making them look good and reinforcing their sense of belonging.

Contrary to popular belief that the role of groups is to maintain cohesion among individual members, and hence bullying might be a way of excluding those who jeopardise the group’s homogeneity, a study of 15 year old girls in Australia [192] 

found that even when a person who was bullied left the school, and hence no longer posed a threat, malicious rumours were spread to the new school. It has been suggested, therefore, 

that dysfunctional groups, with a high level of imbalance of power among members, are far more likely to use covert, manipulative forms of bullying [192]

The major difference between genders is that for girls, holding social knowledge equates to holding social power as a means of manipulating their peers

while boys tend to use ‘rational-appearing aggression’ [109] to assist them to disguise their manipulation of the situation. Rational-appearing aggression can include interrupting, criticising, unfairly judging others and questioning others’ judgement, and is a form of aggression which can be presented as being ostensibly rational and concealed as not being aggressive at all [220]. 

Both mechanisms have the same ultimate outcome [111]. In other words, both girls and boys rate social aggression and covert bullying as worse than physical aggression and bullying [146; 205], and studies have shown it to be strongly linked to depression [122], anxiety [149] and low self-esteem [221] in both genders.

‘Cyber bullying’ has been described as a particularly damaging form of psychological covert aggression that involves “….

the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behaviour by an individual or group, that is intended to harm others…” [99], 

and frequently involves “[s]ending or posting harmful material or engaging in other forms of social aggression using the Internet or other digital technologies” [261, p. 1].”

Edith Cowan University


Re “The major difference between genders is that for girls, holding social knowledge…”

Social knowledge?

Rumour as information? Assumption as knowledge? Emotion as fact?

Pete Dowe

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