eCite Digital Repository

'It's the parents': re-presenting parents in school bullying research


Herne, KE, 'It's the parents': re-presenting parents in school bullying research, Critical studies in education, 57, (2) pp. 254-270. ISSN 1750-8487 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Taylor & Francis

DOI: doi:10.1080/17508487.2014.988635


Public discourse about school bullying is frequently underscored by debates about the relative roles and responsibilities of parents and schools in preventing bullying. Such debates are often characterised by a sense of recrimination, with blame apportioned according to perceived negligence. In this article, I provide a critique of ways in which parents have been represented in school bullying research, and consider how these representations inform public discourse about parents in relation to bullying. I argue that prevailing representations of parents in terms of responsibility and risk are a product of the dominance of psychological conceptualisations of bullying as individual pathological behaviour which stems from child development problems associated with poor parenting. As I show, this is but one of a number of ways in which bullying has been conceptualised in the research literature and provides a limited view of parents in relation to a complex social and cultural problem. I suggest that post-structural approaches to bullying research provide an important opportunity to broaden our understanding of how parents are positioned in the social and institutional systems of power in which bullying, and responses to it, takes place; and to move beyond current counter-productive discourses of responsibility and blame.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:blame; discourse; parents; school bullying research; subject positions
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Specialist studies in education
Research Field:Educational administration, management and leadership
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Other education and training
Objective Field:Other education and training not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Herne, KE (Dr Karen Herne)
ID Code:98454
Year Published:2016 (online first 2014)
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2015-02-17
Last Modified:2017-01-19

Repository Staff Only: item control page