A Position Statement on Social Justice, Physical Education, and Bullying: A Figurational Sociological Perspective

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Abstract

Bullying is increasingly considered to be an important moral, political, and social issue within modern society. Academic research on this issue has mostly been examined through a psychological lens, often using questionnaire data to examine and explain the prevalence of different types of bullying. In this position statement, we apply a figurational sociological perspective to examine issues of school-based bullying in physical education. We critically reflect on attempts to position bullying amongst young people as a “social justice” issue and argue that core figurational principles might potentially help researchers strive toward a more reality-congruent means of conceptualizing the power-relationships that are inherent within bullying. We further maintain that the development of a more detached understanding of issues relating to bullying might provide a more adequate basis to contribute to future ongoing policy development.

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Mierzwinski, M., Cock, S., & Velija, P. (2019). A Position Statement on Social Justice, Physical Education, and Bullying: A Figurational Sociological Perspective. Quest, 71(2), 215–226. https://doi.org/10.1080/00336297.2018.1551807

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