Bullying culture refers to a context in which a pattern of bullying behavior has become ordinary or routine. Bullying cultures tend to emerge in work places, online, and in schools and can be emotional, physical, and verbal. Bullying culture can be particularly damaging because a group of people may act together to embarrass, threaten or intimidate others.
Bullying in the Workplace and Other Organizations
Bullying in organizations occurs when employees and managers carry out abusive behavior. The Workplace Bullying Institute, defines workplace bullying as "...repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators". Some of the characteristics of workplace bullying include, but are not limited to humiliation, intimidation, sabotage, verbal abuse, and more. Bullying is prevalent in organizations where employees and managers feel that they have the support or implicit blessing of senior managers to carry on their abusive behavior.
The impact of bullying in the workplace can be highly negative. According to the 2017 WBI U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey, "Bullied individuals pay dearly with the loss of their economic livelihood to stop it. In the absence of legal prohibitions against it, employers are failing to take responsibility for its prevention and correction."
Online or cyber bullying has a broad definition. It is defined as, "...using electronic means to harm intentionally an intended target (victim)". Cyber bullying is considered different from traditional bullying because of several distinguishing factors. One thing that makes cyber bullying different from traditional bullying is that it is not face to face; cyber bullying can happen anywhere and anytime. Cyber bullying can have a greater impact on the victim than traditional bullying because it is public and anyone can witness it. It is also unique in the sense that the material used in cyber bullying "is difficult, if not impossible, to eliminate".
Bullying in school usually involves but is not limited to teasing, insulting, tormenting, intimidating, or behaving verbally or physically aggressive toward a victim. Bullying can be carried out by a child or a group of children. The dynamic between the bully and victim causes an imbalance of power, which makes it difficult for the victim to seek help or defend themselves. The culture of bullying in schools is directly related to the climate of a school's community. A 2002-2009 statistic indicated that "10 percent of middle and high school students have had hate terms used against them, and over one third have seen hateful graffiti messages".
Although schools may promote positive behavior, in order to eliminate bullying, a school must create a positive setting outside the school and throughout the community.
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