Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Irish Study on Bullying.

Click for source. Labelled for reuse under Creative Commons.
Hey guys and welcome to my second post today. This one is on a sad topic, namely that of bullying. A study was recently carried out in Trinity College Dublin which 'revealed' that those of alternative subcultures are more likely to be bullied and that those of non alternative subcultures are usually those responsible. This study was carried out by the psychology department in TCD and is the first study of its kind to be undertaken in Ireland. 

The paper recommends that schools focus on forms of bullying which target individuals based on how they look or the groups they identify with and belong to.

Whilst it's extremely difficult not to be exasperated at the fact that such a study is only being done now, it is progress nonetheless. Although it's fairly obvious stuff to most of us, having it in writing is a definite step forward. Hopefully the message of this study will be carried throughout anti-bullying week (this week in Ireland) and schools will begin to understand the need to promote tolerance and diversity. Only time will tell. I'm quite cynical, Ireland often seems to be a country which is slow to accept change. I could be/hope I'm wrong. I think it would be good for schools to set up projects which are aimed at acceptance and understanding, even if it's just an essay or something.

From an early age children here are taught that it's wrong to be racist, sexist and prejudiced towards members of the travelling community so there should be no difficulty in teaching that discrimination against subcultures is unacceptable. Of course racism, sexism and prejudice towards travellers still exists today. I've been a victim of sexist attitudes several times personally as have many of my female friends. I've been treated like an idiot because I'm a woman and like a leper because I'm a goth. I can honestly say that any study promoting tolerance and diversity in Ireland is a step forward. I'm just hesitant to jump for joy when I think of the Irish attitude towards change and alternative people.

What do you think of this report dear reader? Has something similar been done where you live? Do I sound too cynical?! I would love to hear from ya'll!

Until next time.


Jamie said...

Definitely sad but unsurprised at this news-but you don't have to feel like it is only Ireland that is hesitant to accept change when it comes to bullying. I grew up in a small town in Colorado, and there was a lot of bullying based on appearance, gender, and race-and, even more sadly, administration-sanctioned bullying based on sexual orientation. I think that as nicely intentioned as anti-bullying initiatives are, teaching kids not to bully starts in the home. Until parents start being more responsible and raising their kids to be more empathetic and conscious of hurting others, we will continue to have bullies. We can fight it by being kind and compassionate, though-that I do believe! And if you're cynical, girl, so am I. :)

The Irish Phantom Cat said...

Thank you for your comment Jamie! Sorry, I didn't mean to suggest that I thought it was only Ireland! The sad truth is that lots of places all around the world are resistant to change I guess. Bleh. Excellent point about it beginning in the home. I once had a small kid shout abuse at me only for his father to smile at him and pretty much say well done. :(( Oh and I'm with you on being kind and compassionate! :)