'What Kept You So Long?': Bullying's Gray Zone and the Vampire's Transgressive Justice in Let the Right One In

Law, Culture and the Humanities, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 1-22, 2012

Posted: 11 Dec 2015

See all articles by Penny Crofts

Penny Crofts

University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Law

Honni van Rijswijk

University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Law

Date Written: May 1, 2012

Abstract

School bullying has been recognized only relatively recently by policy-makers, media and the courts as a serious and widespread social problem. But despite this recent notice, there has been no evidence that techniques adopted to stop bullying have led to anything more than modest success, implying that we need to do more work to unpack and theorize the nature of bullying. In this article, we consider a recent vampire narrative as a story about bullying. We offer an interpretation of this story via the theories of Claudia Card and Jacques Derrida, arguing that together this archive provides a more nuanced understanding of the kinds of damage inflicted by bullying than has been provided by realist or sociological accounts. In particular, it illuminates damage to the morality of the victim, to their soul, which is a kind of damage that has previously not been given great attention. It also highlights the ways in which practices of judgment can become very tangled when trying to resolve bullying situations, making these experiences resistant to the achievement of justice.

Keywords: bullying, law and literature

Suggested Citation

Crofts, Penny and van Rijswijk, Honni, 'What Kept You So Long?': Bullying's Gray Zone and the Vampire's Transgressive Justice in Let the Right One In (May 1, 2012). Law, Culture and the Humanities, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 1-22, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2701588

Penny Crofts (Contact Author)

University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Law ( email )

Sydney
Australia

Honni Van Rijswijk

University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Law ( email )

Sydney
Australia

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