Towards a Communication-Based Approach to Cyber-Bullying

Towards a Communication-Based Approach to Cyber-Bullying

Artemio Ramirez, Jr. (The Ohio State University, USA), Matthew S. Eastin (Lasell College, USA), Jennifer Chakroff (The Ohio State University, USA) and Vincent Cicchirillo (University of Texas at Austin, USA)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-863-5.ch026
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Abstract

Cyber-bullying, or the repeated (mis)use of technology to harass, intimidate, or terrorize another person (Franek, 2004), is a growing problem among adolescents and teenagers in schools. Although cyberbullying inherently implicates important aspects of the communication process, scholars interested in computer-mediated communication have been slow to investigate this phenomenon. This chapter presents an initial effort to document this phenomenon from a communication-based perspective and offers a theoretical foundation for its examination. In so doing, the present chapter provides a review of how the concept of bullying has been traditionally been understood, contextualizes bullying within a mediated context, discusses existing research on cyber-bullies and victims, and applies existing theoretical approaches to understand the motivation behind and effects of cyber-bullying.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Overt aggression: Aggression that is intended to harm others physically through pushing, kicking, punching, or mentally through physical threats (Crick, et al., 1997).

Self-Efficacy: An individual’s perceived ability to execute a given behavior (Bandura, 1997).

Cyber-Bullying: The repeated (mis)use of technology to harass, intimidate, or terrorize another person (Franek, 2004)

Cyber-Bullying: The repeated (mis)use of technology to harass, intimidate, or terrorize another person (Franek, 2004)

Relational Aggression: Indirect aggression intended to damage peer relationships through rumor spreading and social exclusion (Crick et al., 1997).

Outcomes Expectancy: The perceived likely consequence of engaging in a behavior (Bandura, 1997). Such expectancies are thought to operate as “anticipatorily as motivators and regulators of current behavior” (Bandura 2001).

Relational Aggression: Indirect aggression intended to damage peer relationships through rumor spreading and social exclusion (Crick et al., 1997).

Social Cognitive Theory (SCT): Defines human behavior through the interactions among self, environment, and behavior (Bandura, 1986).

Symbolic Interaction Theory (SIT): Defines the individual development of self through social interactions, defined as the messages individuals receive from others—positive and negative, in their social environment (Goffman, 1959; Rose, 1962).

Social Cognitive Theory (SCT): Defines human behavior through the interactions among self, environment, and behavior (Bandura, 1986).

Symbolic Interaction Theory (SIT): Defines the individual development of self through social interactions, defined as the messages individuals receive from others—positive and negative, in their social environment (Goffman, 1959; Rose, 1962).

Outcomes Expectancy: The perceived likely consequence of engaging in a behavior (Bandura, 1997). Such expectancies are thought to operate as “anticipatorily as motivators and regulators of current behavior” (Bandura 2001).

Overt aggression: Aggression that is intended to harm others physically through pushing, kicking, punching, or mentally through physical threats (Crick, et al., 1997).

Self-Efficacy: An individual’s perceived ability to execute a given behavior (Bandura, 1997).

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