Rosario Ortega

Keynote session from the World Anti-Bullying Forum 2021 in Stockholm by Rosario Ortega.

The fourth criterion: bullying as an immoral phenomenon

Research on bullying amongst school children shows that, while it is not necessarily a normative phenomenon, it is a universal one, i.e. bullying is found in schools of rich and poor countries, small and large school, good and bad ones. Research has so far highlighted three main criteria to define bullying: intentionality, power imbalance and recurrence of the aggressive behaviour. But bullying, I argue, is also an immoral phenomenon. It is immoral because it breaks the ethic norm implicit in any social process, as well as the socializing norms of psycho-developmental processes. In my intervention, I would develop this topic, defending the thesis that this forth criterion (bullying as an immoral phenomenon) would provide with conceptual clarity to understand the universality of the phenomenon. It also would allow to identify pathways for improving its prevention in the educational context: through the modification of the micro-systems of interpersonal relationships (groups), as well as in the meso-systems of the school communities (convivencia and cyberconvivencia). I would support such thesis with empirical evidence from my own work and that of others.