Advising Parents on How to Confront School Bullying: Analysing Four Guidance Books from Four Canadian Provinces

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Muyini, Jubran
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Mount Saint Vincent University
thesis uses discourse analysis and shows the ways in which definitions of bullying are socially constructed. Analyzing four parent guides from four different Canadian provinces, the thesis explores how prevalent bullying prevention programs in schools may only give us one way of understanding bullying and block alternative ways of understanding it. My approach is first to investigate what prevention programs in schools suggest in order to eradicate bullying. I have chosen four guidance books from four provinces in Canada (BC, Alberta, Quebec, and Nova Scotia), to understand how bullying is often understood in Canada. Kress and Van Leeuwen's (2006) concept of visual communication, and Feminist Post-Structuralism (as discussed in the work of Bethune & Gonick 2017) comprise the primary theoretical frameworks of this thesis. The analysis of this thesis is based on textual analysis and image analysis. Additionally, the analysis identifies the connection between the text and the image and how they work together to deliver similar, or differing, messages about bullying. Five themes emerge from the analysis: bullying is defined in terms of gender; bullying is defined in a binary way (in terms of a bully and a victim); neoliberal rationality is invoked in the language of the parents’ guides; bullying is understood to stem from students’ differences; and children are constructed as inferior, in that they have no agency.
Bullying, school bullying, Canada,