Paul Horton

Bullied into It: Bullying, power and the conduct of conduct – Paul Horton


This book takes issue with the way in which the relations between school bullying and power have commonly been understood. Drawing on long-term ethnographic fieldwork conducted in two schools in the northern Vietnamese port city of Haiphong, the book contextually situates the bullying that occurs within the disciplinary framework of the school and focuses not only on the bullying that occurs between students but also that which occurs between teachers and students. This situated analysis of school bullying illustrates how different educational practices reduce, encourage, and even constitute bullying, as well as the various ways in which bullying is utilised by some students and teachers as a means through which to exercise, enforce and contest relations of power in schools. The book thus contributes significant knowledge about the importance of the educational context and the role of teachers, and raises pertinent questions about the ways in which school bullying has hitherto been researched and understood. Shifting the focus from the specific actions meted out by particular individuals to the power relations within which those actions gain currency, the book questions the notion that bullying merely involves an unequal power relation and instead highlights that bullying relations are power relations.

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