>What does playground bullying teach us about the causes of conflict?

>The following section is quoted from an article by Joan Raymond: “High school can be hell, filled with cruel cliques bent on tormenting their peers. But the queen bees at top of their social heap aren’t the most abusive against their classmates, according to a study published in the February issue of the American Sociological Review. The most popular kids in school — the top 2 percent of a school’s social hierarchy — are actually the least aggressive, along with those at the bottom. It’s the teens just slightly down from the pinnacle of popularity that give their peers a hard time. Researchers from the University of California, Davis, found that adolescents in the top 98th percentile of the school’s social pecking order have an average aggression rate that is 40 percent greater than kids at the top. They also have an aggression rate that is about 30 percent greater than kids at the bottom of the popularity pack. “The more kids crave popularity, the more aggressive they are,” says co-author of the study, Robert Faris, assistant professor of sociology at UC Davis.”

I have often thought that there is an underplayed link between aggression between individual people, and aggression between groups, of whatever size. And if you’re going to look at the causes of aggression and conflict then playground bullying is as good a place as any to start.

The question of what playground bullying can teach us about the causes of conflict is a big one. But the above quote, if applied to wider scale conflicts, would also be very suggestive. Do you think we can extrapolate from such ideas and draw parrallels with inter and intra state conflicts?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s