Why We Need a New Theory of Cyberbullying
25 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2014
Date Written: November 28, 2014
Over the last number of years, there has been a considerable amount of media coverage on the not-inconsequential societal problem of cyberbullying. The purpose of this article is to begin the theory work of understanding this problem empirically, as much of the scholarly research on the topic lacks conceptual clarity. Firstly, I argue that attempts to interpret cyberbullying through a lens of traditional bullying are effectively Procrustean and obfuscating. In addition, the figure of the provocative or bully/victim in the cyber context has been significantly underappreciated. Finally, a running theme through the literature is that the actual technology involved is seldom critiqued. Fundamentally, this paper is a call for researchers of cyberbullying to engage with cyberspace in a more impartial manner.
Keywords: cyberbullying, theory, cyberpsychology, psychology
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