Next week CJ Pascoe from the University of Oregon will be on campus to present her work, “Reframing Bullying: Young People, Homophobia and Inequality.” Details on the talk are below.
CJ Pascoe, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Oregon
Thursday, March 13, 12:00-1:30
Parrington Hall Forum (Room 309)
Title: “Reframing Bullying: Young People, Homophobia and Inequality”
Abstract: As it currently stands, academic and popular discussions about bullying psychologize and individualize the problem of aggressive interactions among young people. By examining the case of homophobic bullying among adolescent boys, this talk suggests that any approach to bullying needs to include a discussion of social inequality. Discourses of bullying as they are currently shape, in essence, assign the dirty work of social reproduction of inequality to children, then pathologize them for interactionally
acting out the sort of inequality that adults instantiate in law, policy, norms and institutions. To counter this tendency, this talk suggests the development of a sociology of bullying. Such an approach would shift the unit of analysis from individual behavior to an aggressive interaction itself, attend to the social contexts in which bullying occurs, ask questions about meanings produced by such interactions and understand these interactions as not solely the province of young people. In doing so it would account for social forces, institutionalized inequalities and cultural norms that reproduce inequality. Indeed it indicates the way in which the power imbalance that common definition of bullying requires is actually constituted in and by the very interaction itself. Finally, such an approach would examine the way in which these interactions are not the product of pathological individuals but are part of a normative socialization process.
The talk is co-sponsored by the Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology (CSDE), the Department of Sociology, the Q Center, and the Scholars Strategy Network Northwest (SSN-NW).