Barbara Spears – A double-edged sword of exclusion and rejection


But seriously, what brings you to this session, because I need to know where you’re coming from so that we can try and connect with you. So why have you come to this session? What is it you are interested in? Yep? – [Audience Member] Exclusion is very big in our school. – Exclusion is very big in your school. – [Audience Member] I was interested in the gentlemen, as part of that, to see differing types of (muffled speech) behaviour in gender and how you actually. – Work. – [Audience Member]
Try and deal with that. – Okay, I will try and get to that. I’m trying to get to everything. This is a massive area. – [Audience Member] I
guess in my experience it’s always been a struggle for staff to manage girls particularly, and the physical nature
of some of the things, (background noise drowns out other sound) (muffled speech) – Okay, we could probably just not use the slides, and just have a conversation. (audience laughs) But we’re gonna have to do that, but we will try and come to that too. Next? Anyone else? – [Audience Member] I’m just a mixture of these two ladies, the friendship issues with girls, the exclusion, they
love each other one day, they hate each other the next. And parents are very upset. The children are upset. It’s all the parents term it bullying. We have a lot of trouble discerning, is it peer victimisation or are they actually
just (muffled speech)? – Okay, some background to that, which is not today and we could have done a whole session is that my PhD was actually on girls,
bullying behaviours, and peer relationships. And I looked at single sex in independent and coed schools, but that’s, I’m not bringing any of that data in to this, but I’m bringing some of the wisdom and knowledge from the field into that, so I think we’ve got a
fairly good understanding that everybody’s here for similar reasons, which is good. So aggression and bullying. One of the things I
want to raise with you, and I’ll probably throw a lot of questions back to you to think about is what are the social norms? What are the social norms for us around aggression and bullying in your school context? Now we just hear some of
them around the girls, so we need to just keep those in mind, social norms is a very important part of the whole scenario. The outline, and I think I have a different version of
the presentation up. That’s fine (laughs). We will work our way through, so we will look very briefly at peer dynamics, the friendship and peer group connection, and also then looking
at gender and bullying. So the paper I have in front does not relate to that, so that’s good. So some background and context. This is all the things you know and work with all the time. All of those terms, relational, social, indirect, relates to a lot of the girls’ situations. The dynamic interaction
I want to focus on, that this is not static. This moves all the time, and we’ve already heard
that from somebody. We talk about power increasing and the helplessness aspects of it. So we’ll pick up on some of that. So I wanna pick up first of all when we talk about bullying, we talk about power, and my question to you is, what is power anyway? And how does it emanate
in the school context, in the peer context? Because we talk about this power imbalance in order to get to bullying, so when we look at gender and power, what does that mean? When we look at the power relationships in peer relations, what does that mean? So we can think about power as being something, power to do something, power over someone, power with someone, so there’s lots of different ways of thinking about power, and we flip this phrase out about bullying is about
an imbalance in power in the relationships, but what I wanna throw back to you is how are you using power in your school context? And how are the students also engaging with that power? So in friendships, we start to talk about this double edge of power, because we actually have those friendships in social power balance. The friendships are reciprocal. The friendship are between two parties who want to be there, who like each other. When we think about social
power that unravels, when those relationships shift and we get an imbalance of power, we get that unravelling
of that if you like weft and warp that
occurs in the friendship, so we get an imbalance when we move into a bullying. How does that happen? So my question to you is to look at those bases of power and to ask yourselves,
in my school context, how are we using those? And the question for you is this to think about, can you name somebody, can you think of somebody in your school? So you have a legitimate role. You have given someone, or someone has been voted into, a role, maybe on a student council. Maybe they are a school leader. This is a position of power in the school community. How are they using that power? How are they using it well? Wisely? How are they using it poorly? So think about the way
we intersect with power, as well in the school community. What about reward power? That’s the ability to give a reward to those who comply. How do young people do that? How do they use their power to give rewards in the peer group? What about the expert power? These are the young people who have some sort of expertise that people want to be close to and engage with. How are they using that power? The referent power, the role models. Who are the leaders in your school, the popular ones, the people that everybody follows? How are they using their power? Coercive. How do people punish each other using their power? Girls sent to coventry, excluded, isolated, and informational power. Obviously, informational
power is transitory. I have information and I give it out. How am I using that power? So my question to you and to think about not just bullying but
bullying in a peer context is to say that there is power all around us, and how it shifts from being in harmony, in social power, in equity, and how it moves into imbalance is more than just the nature of the dyad between the perpetrator and the target. But there’s a whole lot of other power issues going on around all of the time. Does that make sense to you? Okay, so the other area
of this presentation is around gender, and of course what does gender tell us? Well gender tells us that it’s one of the key ways we actually organise our friendships
and our relationships. And the really important
part about that is that we actually have some sex segregation that occurs very early with children. Have you noticed? Children when they’re little? Boys wanna play with boys, girls wanna play with girls, and I want you to think about the whole spectrum of that, in terms of where the gender lines lie. We actually say things about children who don’t fit the social norms, in terms of the girl
who wants to be outside climbing with the boys. The boy who wants to
be inside in the corner with the girls. We need to think about that whole spectrum of gender and how it’s navigated through and operated in and around our peer relationships, so whilst we’re talking about bullying, I want to drill into and think about how we have a better understanding of gender differences in
the way children play, in the way their friendships are constructed and operate, and how they operate
within the peer group. Because if we get an
understanding of that, we also get an understanding then of how gender operates
in and around bullying. This is what we know, this is what we know implicitly, right? That as adults we guide children, and we guide children in very much a hand holding model, as they grow. We’re the adult, they’re the child, and they grow with us, and we teach and learn
in that circumstance. But if you look on the right hand side of that diagram, you’ll see that peers operate in a different way. Peers operate in this horizontal context of learning. The young people who are surrounded by their friendships and their peer groups are learning from each other in this horizontal sense, whereas from an adult/child sense, it’s very much this vertical model. So what I’m gonna focus on of course is moving into the right
hand side of the model, and of course this process is developmentally significant. As children grow they
separate from us as adults. I’m sure you can all remember the moment you thought
mom didn’t know anything and you didn’t wanna hold her hand to cross the road, because you were starting to think about where are my peers? Who can see me with my mother? And so that separation is natural because that’s a normal part of adolescent development, but so much is learnt
within the peer groups that we need to understand a little bit more about it. So I’m gonna focus just
quickly on friendship and the peer group. So the important thing we know about friendship is that it is reciprocal. It’s affirmed by both parties. So someone might say they’re a friend, but unless the other
person reciprocates that, it’s not a friendship. It might be an acquaintance. And reciprocity of that
affection is important. That’s the essential tie. They actually like each other and like being together. And we know that friendship is voluntary. You can’t make people be friends. We know that it’s intimate, because there’s a lot of sharing of intimacy and knowledge. And generally it’s dyadic. There’s two. I know I don’t need to ask teachers what happens when three
girls get together. (audience laughs) We’ll get there. Okay, so peer groups then, so we think about friendships as being dyadic, twos, people who like each other and who have intimate,
voluntary relationships. When we get to the peer group, we’re talking about the bigger group of young people, so the collection of those interacting individuals. There’s some degree of
reciprocal influence. They like being together
in the peer group, or it could just be that they’re in the same class, right? So they’re the year
fives or the year nines. That doesn’t mean they necessarily like each other, and they’ll form those
sub groups within that. You live with that every day. So the school classes
present to us a cohort, but it may not be their only peer group. But there’s a whole lot of things that happen within that peer group. It’s cohesive in the sense that they’re all year sevens or nines. But it is hierarchical. There are those with more social power than others. There are those who use it wisely, and those who use it poorly, or misuse and abuse it. It’s obviously heterogeneous, lots of differences within it. And operating within and around this are the social norms that bind the groups together. So one minute, ’cause that’s probably all we’ve got, talk to your neighbour about the groups, the peer groups that you see within your school. Now I want you to think about what are the social norms that bring those groups of kids together? So whilst we might talk
about the year level, let’s separate that out now and think about what are the groups that you see in your schools that hang out together? One minute. (background noise drowns out other sound) Okay, thank you (laughs). Hello (laughs). Thank you (laughs). That’s okay (laughs). Thank you everybody. Again, I know it’s hard to stop and start, but if we’re just sewing the seeds of the conversations, that’s important, so tell me some of the things that you were talking about. – [Audience Member] Sporting groups. – The sporty group. Yep. – [Audience Member] In our community, like their neighbourhood groups can really be powerful. – Neighbourhood groups, so the neighbourhood groups change when they come to school or are they the same? – [Audience Member] Yeah,
there’s huge tensions between who’s friends in the neighbourhood and who’s friends at school. – And who’s not allowed to be a friend when you come to school because I don’t want, yes. Okay. This side of the room? – [Audience Member] We
have cultural groups within our school, that seem to very much bind together and are very hard to mould. – Yes, yes, and so these links which bind them, the social norms which bind them is a really important part of how we then start to intersect with some of these groups. Another one before we move on? – [Audience Member] We don’t have cultural diversity. We don’t have socio economic diversity, so I’ve noticed it’s
more just personalities, like the loud, gregarious ones or the quieter ones. – And we have lots of stereotypical names for all of those groups, don’t we? Right. Okay. So it’s important then to understand that those groups have norms, and they intersect with gender as well, because if you are a boy, you learn to be a boy in the boys’ group, and if you’re a girl, you learn to be a girl
in the girls’ group. If you are not sure who you are, or you’re still working it out, that makes life a bit difficult for you. So the social norms are really powerful. So the developmental
significance of all of this, of course it is from that shift from families toward peers, children operate in same sex and cross sex networks, so now we’re taking the friendships and we’re looking at the networks and we’re now looking at the intersection with gender, and those networks actually allow children to experience success and competency and failures, and they’re always in
relation to the norms of the group. If the group determines what you do and how you do it is competent and socially acceptable, you’re in. If you’re slightly different, or you don’t adhere to the norms in any way, you’re on the outer. So gender is central in actually shaping these networks, and so you can see the layering that we’ve got here. And what of the gender
non conforming student? Where do they fit within these networks? And how are we supporting them? And we have seen a massive shift in our understanding of that, and that’s really important. So what I’m trying to do here is to give you a lens to look through to look at the social dynamic, to look at the peer group, to look at the social norms, the friendships and the relationships, and say, what are we doing here? How do we understand those? So one of the most
powerful social phenomenon known to exist in childhood is in fact sex segregation, when children want to play with the group that they feel most comfortable with, so now we don’t have time, but normally I’d workshop this for quite a while. But just have a look at those categories, and yes, you may be thinking stereotypes, and that’s okay for the moment, ’cause we’re just gonna play with it. I just wanna call out a word that springs to mind when we talk about boys’ play. How do boys play? – Rough.
– Rough, tough. (background noise drowns out other sound) – It’s physical.
– Physical. – [Audience Member] Loud. – Loud. Big space or small space? (background noise drowns out other sound) Big, okay. Girls? – [Audience Member] Quiet. – [Audience Member] Conversational. – Conversational. (background noise drowns out other sound) – [Audience Member] Laughter. – Laughter. – [Audience Member] Not running, sitting. – Sitting. So you walk around the aisle and see groups of girls sitting,
chatting, talking. – [Audience Member] Smaller groups. – Smaller groups. Okay, so what about the bigger peer group? How does a bigger peer
group of boys operate? – [Audience Member] The same. – Same? (background noise drowns out other sound) So with boys we might talk about a dominance hierarchy. – Yes.
– Yeah? You got the kingpin, the would be’s if they could be’s just below, and then everyone else they need to run with the pack to kick a ball or to do whatever they need, yeah? What about girls? – [Audience Member] Queen bee. – Queen bee, so we have some dominance within the group, but often with girls we think about a tabletop. Think about a pinball machine, flick, flick, flick, right? Shifting alliances. You know what I mean
by shifting alliances? So you’re in this group, and then you’re out, and you’re in, and you’re out, and you’re in, and you’re out, right? So think of the pinball, the old fashioned one that we used to have the flippers with. What about the girl of the child who never gets accepted into any of the groups? Right? They’re constantly moving. So if we talk about the girls being horizontal and shifting alliances, and the boys being dominance hierarchies, if we understand friendships then, what do boys’ friendships look like? Give me a word to describe
boys’ friendships. – [Audience Member] Superficial. – Loyal.
– Loyal. What did I hear someone else say? – [Audience Member] Superficial. – Superficial. That’s an interesting one. (audience laughing) (background noise drowns out other sound) – [Audience Member] Activity based. – Activity based. – [Audience Member] Shared experiences. – Shared experiences. Mateship. – [Audience Member] A bit more resilient. When they have a problem, they come back from it, seemingly. – They have a problem and seemingly come back from it. – [Audience Member] They’re not of such high importance that girls tend to put on those relationships. – They’re not as high, they don’t adhere to as much importance. So they sort of bounce off it a bit. What about girls? – [Audience Member] (laughs) Emotional. (background noise drowns out other sound) – Emotional, be all and end all. – [Audience Member] Volatile. – Volatile. Let me ask this question of everyone in the room (laughs). Can you ever get to the beginning of a girls’ argument? (audience laughing) And the reason is because it can go back years, huh? (audience laughing) And I hope the gentlemen in the room are listening. There’s lots to learn. But in terms of boys, it’s much more about get over it and move on, yeah? So at the end of the footy game they’ll all go and have a hang out together or something, so understanding these differences in these other relationships informs us then about
what we see in aggression, so what do we see when
boys are aggressive? (background noise drowns out other sound) Didn’t we hear physical back in play? – [Audience Members] Yeah. – Okay. What else when boys are aggressive? (background noise drowns out other sound) Yes, yes, shifts, okay? Shifts, because even two decades ago we were not even talking about girls being aggressive. We’ve actually made a big shift, so we are seeing, and I said these are basically stereotypical things we’re talking about, so yes, physicality though
for boys in aggression. We are seeing a rise in the use of relational, social
aggression with boys. Yeah, you can play, but we won’t kick it to you. Right? So we’re seeing a rise in that. Notice I talk here about aggression, not bullying yet. We’re only talking about
that deliberate intent to be hurtful and harmful. We haven’t got the other layers. And so when girls are aggressive, what do they do? (background noise drowns out other sound) Say again. – [Audience Member] Exclusion. – Exclusion. Okay, I’ll ask a question about exclusion a bit later, so let’s just see how right you were, because bringing all of
these things together from international literature all over the world, this is what we see. Who’s on the left and who’s on the right? Boys or girls? (background noise drowns out other sound) Who’s on the left? – [Audience Members] Girls. – Okay, and boys obviously, but the question I’m asking you to think about is, what are the social norms that bind the groups together? The friendships? And what does it mean for acceptance if you’re in and rejection if you’re out? Okay? So just hold onto that. Someone’s taking a photo, so I’ll wait. No, I’ll wait. What about the play styles? Who’s on the left? – [Audience Members] Boys. – See, you know it all. I’m not here to tell you anything. But the lens to look through is what are the social norms? What about verbally? (background noise drowns out other sound) Girls on the right. But again, we’re seeing some shifts around those verbal changes. That boys are becoming much more skilled at being verbally manipulative. One of the things with friendship we do need to understand is the functions of it. Because if you are not accepted, and if a child says to you, I don’t have a friend, and they’re really talking about having been the child who has been constantly left out, then these are the skills
they’re not learning. These are the things
that are not underpinning their social competencies. So they’re not growing
in social competence. They’re not getting support or validation from anyone. Their emotional security is being eroded, disrupted. There’s no guidance and acceptance from the group. They’re not learning about intimacy and affection. They’re not getting that sense of reliable alliance. I can lean on someone for support. And they’re obviously not learning about
companionship and stimulation. So a child who’s not able to engage in a reciprocal friendship to learn about the depth that comes from that, and this is where intimacy grows from. Intimacy grows from understanding these relationships, so if you’re not getting it, you sort of miss out, and so when you try to have a friend, you might try a little bit too hard. Have you seen those children? – [Audience Members] Yes. – Okay. And it also might ask you to ask yourselves when you say, and we’ve all done it, like, well, if you haven’t got a friend to play with, there’s a group over there. Go and join them. We don’t do that anymore. But we need to think about why that doesn’t work. Because these children for a start don’t really have those
social competency skills to make it easy, so that’s a job for us is to help them with
peer group entry skills. How do you enter a group? You’ve all seen how a competent child enters a group. Tell me about what a competent child does. You’re all competent. You’re here at the conference. You go up to a new group. What do you do? – [Audience Member] Walk in and sit down and start talking to someone. – Walk in and sit down and start talking. – Share.
– Share. – [Audience Member] You read the room, or you read the group. – You read the group. And a child who has
not leart those skills, how do they enter a group? – [Audience Member] They don’t. – They don’t. Well they do. They have some behaviours. They come in loud. They talk all about themselves. They don’t listen. They don’t pick up the flow of the group. So what does the group do with that child? They move away. Right? The body language changes. They move away. The shoulders will shift and the conversation will come here, and then that child will try and break in again. So understanding those competencies of friendship and then how they’re gonna intersect with the exclusionary things you’re starting to see, this just makes it more and more complex. Other underlying elements about friendships is
the amount of conflict. How many of you have never had conflict in your relationships? (audience laughing) So conflict is a normal part of a relationship. And it’s something we need
to help teach children how to manage, how to manage conflict within a friendship, how to manage conflict as a normal part of an underlying element of those basic relationships. Because we can all learn from conflict. That’s the constructive
nature of conflict, but when it’s dysfunctional, of course we have to
learn different things, but learning how to manage conflict face to face, particularly, in these days of social media. One of the things I’ve
noticed with young people is they’re not prepared
to navigate conflict. They go straight online,
and talk it out there, so helping them to actually learn the skills of conflict management. I won’t say resolution. But how do you manage some conflict within a friendship and still learn and grow from that is an important skill they need to learn. It’s interesting to look at how children see friendship. So this fits the
developmental sort of pattern. Under the age of nine, they talk about playing and sharing things together. They’re in there together. That’s not to say it’s without conflict. But from the age of nine and ten they’re starting to say they want to like and help each other. That’s what friendship’s about. Have a look at pre adolescents. They talk about understanding, sharing personal secrets,
thoughts, feelings. What happens when that
friendship falls over? What have they got as the tool? (background noise drowns out other sound) They’ve got knowledge. They’ve got information. This is informational power at work here, in a different sense, so the very nature of those friendships is that they are intimate and they disclose and they share, and that’s what they are talking about when they say, this is what my friend is. My friend shares my thoughts. We can safely tell secrets, but of course that
friendship does fall over, and friendships are not static, and so they then have that tool to use. Adolescents, approval of their peers is valued more highly than parents. And that’s where we see that developmental shift happening. So they certainly talk
about understanding, emotional support, and companionship as being important parts of friendship, but it matters more what their peers think than their parents do. So very quickly, I just want to show you this notion of friendship
not being static. Because when we talk about friendships we know that they’re in and they’re out. But I also want you to understand that they are dynamic in the sense that we can go in many places, so you may have just met somebody at the conference, an acquaintance, someone new. You talk to them. You’re happy with that. You say let’s meet for lunch, and you build that friendship, and that acquaintanceship. And then but you may never see each other again. Over you go to ending. Never gonna happen again. Well these days you might say, I’ll catch up on Facebook or online. If you continue to be a friend and continue to see each other, and to work on the relationship, then you move into that deepening phase where you learn more about each other. But for some reason, sometimes friendships deteriorate. We don’t see you. You move away. You lose interest. You get a partner, a
multitude of reasons why, but there are also other reasons as to why they end as well, so they don’t just deteriorate and fade, but they can actually end. What I want you to think about here is where’s the power
when this is happening? So when we’re in those beginning phases, it’s very much about wanting to equalise the social power to bring that relationship together, where there’s access, and the cost/benefits, you’re weighing out and saying, yep, I’m getting a benefit from this. It’s working out. That friend moves away. You way out that cost/benefit. Is it too hard to stay in touch or not? And we all know those old friends from 20 years ago, you pick up the conversation you left off. So there are benefits in that build up and continuation and consolidation phases
of the friendships. But when they deteriorate, the power starts to shift. And the power in fact may be unequal, when it comes to the end. And I’m only raising that, not always, I’m only raising that because when we talk about bullying we talk about that shift in power, so I’ll give you a little example. Two year nine girls had been friends since, what do you call it here, kindergarten? Prep? The youngest? – [Audience Members] Kindergarten. – Kindergarten? Been friends since then, besties. Shared everything
together, get to year nine, and they both like the same boy. (laughs) What was that groan I just heard? (audience laughing) They both like the same boy. They go to one of the gatherings on the weekend, the parties. Unbeknownst to each other, they both kiss the same boy. They come back to school, and everyone has told everyone else that she did this and she did that. This is a real scenario. The girls came back to school, found out what the other had done, immediately blamed each other. Didn’t pay any attention to the boy’s role in it at all. (audience laughing) But one of the girls started, she was so irate she went home and she got all of her photos of their friendship and with a cigarette she burnt out the face of the other girl, and then she took the photos to her, ripped them up, and said, friendship over. So (laughs) at the same time, she was also rallying the troops, bringing the others around to support her view of the world. A little study that an
honours student of mine did some years ago looked at what happens in those terminations of friendships, and she found that young people experience grief for up to six weeks. So that’s another layer we don’t think about, is what happens when things fall over? And the grief that accompanies that. Lots of reasons for termination. We won’t bother there, ’cause we’re going to start running out. So in sum, friendships are about these good things, but what does it mean when we are friendless and rejected? So I’m gonna quickly focus on that, and then we can get to
the last few minutes, so when we talk about what goes on in the peer group, we talk about something in the research sense called sociometry. And it’s really very simple. It’s asking a question of the peer group, is the child liked by everyone? And what is the child like? They’re two quite important questions. Because, is the child liked? Gives you a sense of their popularity. What is the child like? Gives you a sense of
their peer reputation, how others see them. And through this categorization, and it’s an algorithmic process to work this out, but we actually have categories. And they are the popular kids, the rejected kids, controversial, neglected, and average. Now neglected does not
mean has no friends. Neglected means that
most of the peer group sort of forget they’re there, but they have a friend. They’re just not part of the high status interactions, okay? So we talk then also about
perceived popularity, how other kids see them, and that’s the peer reputation. So what I’m gonna ask you to do as we quickly go through these, that’s that notion of is the child liked? And from that we learn what is their social impact? Are they having a positive social impact? Or a negative social impact? Are they preferred by their peers, or are they not preferred by their peers? And when we start to unpack that, we see certain characteristics. And I’m sure you’ll be able to identify young people
in your circumstances that this might resonate with. So who is the popular boy or girl, who’s highly skilled
at all of these things? Can you think of one? Yeah, a popular boy and a popular girl? We also know that popular boys for example are very good at sport. Sportiness is part of the package that goes with the popular boys. What goes with popular girls? – [Audience Member] Attractiveness. – Attractiveness. Leading the social norms about what it means to look good in my school context. All right? And sometimes you might get a girl or a boy who comes
from another school, and they bring their
cultural norms with them or their social norms with them about their peer group, and they might look at act differently. And so what happens? Do they shift and change to match the peer norms with you, or do they remain outside? And again, if you’re
starting to think about how you manage that, you need to look at the social norms. When we look at the rejected, the children who are rejected, and these are the children in the process that are actively disliked by the rest of the class, so no one wants to sit with them. No one wants to work with them, and we find there are two subsets. There’s the aggressive
rejected individual. Are you thinking of somebody? Hmm, and there’s the
withdrawn, rejected individual. No one wants to be with them ’cause they’re no fun. They’re too quiet and shy and timid. One of the big questions we have to answer is am I rejected because
I’ve been aggressive, or am I aggressive because
I’ve been rejected? Chicken and egg, and sometimes in your school context, one of these kids will flare out and will absolutely, he or she will be the one you will say, that
behavior’s inappropriate. And we actually have to then, what we’ve done then is to seen them pop up from their rejected status, and we pay attention to them. And it’s often the aggression that’s the kicker for that. So think about that child you’re thinking of. Are they aggressive because they’re being
rejected, or vice versa? The neglected category
is an interesting one. They’re not actively disliked. They actually have fewer
risk problems than most. Longitudinally this is the group that comes out best, right? They have a friend, they’re happy to play on their own. They’re really assertive. They’re actually quite well balanced. They’re not aggressive. And the controversials are interesting. Half the class loves them, and half the class hates them. Can you think of somebody? (audience laughing) Okay. So what you’re dealing with there are those children who have actually good leadership skills, but their aggressive with it. How do you manage that in the peer dynamic as well? So we’ll have to bring this home. And so we’re gonna move into some of the bullying and how this connects. So bullies tend to be more disliked than their peers but they have a cohort around them. They have the hangers on. They have the would be’s, but they’re not actively liked. But kids are too scared to say that. Yeah? Individuals perceived as popular and often I’ll hear teachers say, ah, it’s the popular girls, or the kids will say,
it’s the popular girls that are doing the mean, nasty things, they’re perceived as popular, but they’re motivated
to maintain that status. They want to stay popular. They want the power, and so they may engage in exclusion and bullying to do so. I’m going to skip through because these will be on the slides, and you’ll have time to engage with them, but I actually want to
get to this section here. Oh, now I’ve gone past it. No I haven’t. Okay, so this is some data from, so going back to the bullying and gender differences, initially, when we first started to look at girls’ aggression and girls’ bullying, we said, they’re bullied
in a different way. They were more exclusive. They were more isolating. They were more covert. What you say written on notes passed around the room is now online on social media. But we’re actually seeing boys engaging in that sort of relational aggression as well. So we’re seeing all forms used by both genders, in different times and in different ways. And I guess your alert
metres have to be up that maybe what you’re not seeing is the relational and
the covert aggression, so we often find that yes, the boys turn up at the more bullied and the more victimised because we don’t see
necessarily the girls. But what we’re starting to see are gender differences in their use of social media, and this particular slide is about managing social media sites, and it’s from the e-Safety
Commissioner’s latest report, and I think you can see there that girls are on the whole much better at managing their social media sites. Their awareness around
what’s going on is higher. The girls were significantly more vigilant than the boys in managing
their online presence. Now that shouldn’t be surprising. So we need to think about that. Girls were more likely
to be socially excluded by their peers and to receive contact or content that was unwanted, so when we get into
the social media space, this is really complex. It’s really hard to say
there are more girls who are victimised. There are more boys who do this, but when we start to
look at what’s happening in terms of the social exclusion in the online setting, there were statistically
significant differences with respect to these circumstances in quite a large study. If we look at the negative
online behaviours, there was no distinction in prevalence rates
between boys and girls, although fewer kids than teens admitted to these negative
online behaviours. Notice I’m not calling them bullying at this point, because we need to understand where is the power,
and that’s the question I’m going to conclude with. And I’m looking for the final slide to conclude and it’s not coming up, and this is the wrong presentation. There it is. That’s the one I wanted. Okay, that’s where I’m gonna stop. So it’s complicated. (audience laughing) So when we look at that, what we see are how, there’s a huge intersection with everything we’re looking at and trying to understand. That if we look at the friendships, we need to understand social status. If we look at friendships we need to understand social norms. If we look at bullying, we need to understand power and gender. And gender and peer groups, and so what you are dealing with, it’s no wonder it’s hard, okay? So what I’m asking you to think about is what do you understand
about the friendships and see with the friendships? What are you seeing and understanding about the social norms in the peer groups? And then I want to ask the question who as the power? So when you’re actually looking at the dynamic of what is going on between the individuals that you’re talking about, this child might be engaging in bullying behaviour, when you walk into your class, ask yourself the question, who has the power in this room? And how are they using it? Because if we say bullying is about a deliberate intent to harm, if we say it’s repeated, and that’s negotiable when we move into the online space what that means, but the repetition is important, if we then say well it is about an imbalance of power, I think we need to be asking the question who has the power and how are they using it? Because when you look at the dynamics of a friendship, we have social power that’s equal, but when that social power shifts, we see the dynamic change, and then the power shifts to the party that either
rallies the troops and gathers the others, or uses and abuses their role or their situation in other ways. So thank you for your time. I’d like to remind everybody that we need to do this on a regular basis, but just remember (audience laughing) that we need to be vigilant. Thank you for your time. (audience applauding)

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