The word "bully" was first used in the 1530s meaning "sweetheart," applied to either sex, from the Dutch boel "lover, brother," probably diminutive of Middle High German buole "brother," of uncertain origin (compare with the German buhle "lover"). The meaning deteriorated through the 17th century through "fine fellow," "blusterer," to "harasser of the weak". This may have been as aconnecting sense between "lover" and "ruffian" as in "protector of a prostitute," which was one sense of "bully" (though not specifically attested until 1706). The verb "to bully" is first attested in 1710.
High-level forms of violence such as assault and murder usually receive most media attention, but lower-level forms of violence such as bullying have only in recent years startedto be addressed by researchers, parents and guardians, and authority figures. It is only in recent years that bullying has been recognised and recorded as a separate and distinct offence, but there have been well documented cases that have been recorded over the centuries. The Fifth Volume of the Newgate Calendar contains at least one example where Eton Scholars George Alexander Wood andAlexander Wellesley Leith were charged, at Aylesbury Assizes, with killing and slaying the Hon. F. Ashley Cooper on February 28, 1825 in an incident which might today be described as "lethal hazing." The Newgate calendar contains several other examples that, while not as distinct, could be considered indicative of situations of bullying. Virginia Woolf considered fascism to be a form ofbullying, and wrote of Hitler and the Nazis in 1934 as "these brutal bullies."
Bullying is the activity of repeated, aggressive behavior intended to hurt another person, physically or mentally. Bullying is characterized by an individual behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person.
Norwegian researcher Dan Olweus defines bullying as when a person is
"exposed,repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons." He defines negative action as "when a person intentionally inflicts injury or discomfort upon another person, through physical contact, through words or in other ways".
Bullying behavior may include name calling, verbal or written abuse, exclusion from activities, exclusion from socialsituations, physical abuse, or coercion. Bullies may behave this way to be perceived as popular or tough or to get attention. They may bully out of jealousy or be acting out because they themselves are bullied.
U.S. National Center for Education Statistics suggests that bullying can be classified into two categories:
Direct bullying, and
indirect bullying (which is also known as socialaggression).
Ross states that direct bullying involves a great deal of physical aggression, such as shoving and poking, throwing things, slapping, choking, punching and kicking, beating, stabbing, pulling hair, scratching, biting, scraping, and pinching.
He also suggests that social aggression or indirect bullying is characterized by attempting to socially isolate the victim. This isolationis achieved through a wide variety of techniques, including spreading gossip, refusing to socialize with the victim, bullying other people who wish to socialize with the victim, and criticizing the victim's manner of dress and other socially-significant markers (including the victim's race, religion, disability, sex, or sexual preference, etc.). Ross outlines an array of nonviolent behaviorwhich can be considered 'indirect bullying,' at least in some instances, such as name calling, the silent treatment, arguing others into submission, manipulation, gossip/false gossip, lies, rumors/false rumors, staring, giggling, laughing at the victim, saying certain words that trigger a reaction from a past event, and mocking. The UK based children's charity, Act Against Bullying, was set up in...
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