Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Spot The Bully

The word is used so loosely one wonders who is the hurting party, and who is being hurt. A Swedish graduate student named Dan Olweus had just finished his PhD in psychology 1969 when he decided to study aggression and victimization among boys. Until the 1990s, the Americans in his field largely ignored bullying as a research topic. "We didn't get in in the U.S.," said a school psychologist from the University of Nebarasa-Lincoln, "until Columbine."

Olweus' key contribution was a definition of bullying that went beyond the general emphasis on large anonymous groups acting in a mob fashion. Bullying, he said, had to satisfy three criteria:
it had to be verbal or physical abuse;
it had to be repeated over time;
and it had to involve an imbalance of power.

A one time episode of meanness or violence by one stronger party against a weaker one, or repeated clashing between equals, can cause problems, but it certainly isn't bullying. The examples in "Sticks and Stones" by Emily Bazelon are mostly about behavior among children which could lead to potentially devastating consequences in the school zone. Problems get carried over to adulthood only when some kids just refuse to, or lack the EQ, to grow up.

When politicians make innuendos about bullying, they should give concrete examples. David may have fell Goliath with a sling shot, but he can hardly be termed a big bully. Sometimes the little people have to fight back, after tiring of being shoved around and taken for a ride. Better the battle be waged in cyberspace than on the physical landscape. Just see how ugly the mess Thailand is in now.


  1. While PAP claims that it hates to see bullying in cyberspace. See what msm has done to tarnish Nichole Seah. PAP bully Singaporeans all the time and never seems to have stopped until it started to shed crocodile tears in every election.

    1. The old man must be the greatest bully of all times. Now the younger ones are picking up his dirty old tricks to continue with the tradition.

      Come to think of it, what the fuck did he apologise for when he is back to the same old dirty tricks ?

  2. They say they are the best talents that money can buy. Yet they can't even find one to argue their case out if they can't agree to something bad written about them. That contempt thing is only an excuse for them to make use of the courts to bully others into submission.

    What a coward, those idiots !

    use of the courts.

    1. Guess who appoints the judges?!

  3. And who sets the Laws.

  4. When in power, a black sheet can turn to white - as long as majority believe what they said.

  5. Verbal or physical abuse?
    Such as calling people liars, cheats and lacking in integrity ?
    Such as in repeated news broadcasts over your controlled channels ?
    Imbalance of power ?
    hey wait a minute , does this sound familiar ?

  6. Threatening alternative MPs in a parliament with challenges to repeat a statement is a typical bully act. Now we all know that words spoken in parliament (at least if one follows the Uk or Westminster version) cannot be a subject of lawsuit. But they can change the constitution, would anyone dare to speak up even in parliament? If not, why have on-man-one vote?