Policy and perception: Cyberbullying in the Nova Scotian context

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de Molitor, Stacey
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Mount Saint Vincent University
This study explored definitions and conceptualizations of cyberbullying in Nova Scotian social, cultural, and legal contexts to highlight the inefficacy of currently-instituted prevention and intervention strategies. Following the framework of social learning as defined by symbolic interactionism, this study utilized feminist and semiotic theories to analyze laws, images, and the perceptions of cyberbullying found in Nova Scotia, Canada. Included in the research were 32 participants gathered through purposeful and convenience sampling methods that represented the perspectives of Nova Scotian youth, parents, teachers, law enforcement representatives, and government officials. Ultimately, this research determined that Nova Scotian perceptions of cyberbullying are disconnected, convoluted, and skewed by media and social influences weighted in gender inequality and the sexualization of women and girls. Current prevention and intervention strategies fail to account for the collective perspectives of Nova Scotians, and so if Nova Scotia hopes to better address cyberbullying in future, it must continue in its efforts to establish a focused, unified definition within our province, and subsequently the awareness and education of it for all Nova Scotians, not only our youth.
Cyberbullying, Nova Scotia