Home    Number 5, 2012

Bullying as a Sociocultural Phenomenon and Its Relation to Personality Traits among Younger School Children

Type of publication: Research Article

About author(s)

Marina L. Butovskaya | marina.butovskaya@gmail.com | Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology RAS

Elena L. Lutsenko | lelu@list.ru | V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University

Karina E. Tkachuk | tkachukkarina@gmail.com | V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University


bullying, harassment, aggression, younger school children, personality traits, family atmosphere


Bullying – harassment, intimidation and maltreatment of other (in most cases, of the weaker) members of the collective – has become the object of close attention among anthropologists, psychologists, ethologists, and sociologists in the last decades. The article shows how widespread this phenomenon is in human societies. The goal of the study is the analysis of bullying as a sociocultural phenomenon and the examination of the specificities of harassment in collectives of younger school children. The authors argue that all children of 8–10 years old are able to employ bullying techniques, although some 13% of them can be considered real bullers. The most common at that age (about 40%) are verbal types of humiliation, as the safest ones that allow the buller to get away unpunished. After them there follow the physical aggression and the moral crushing (about 20% each). Prohibitions and ostracism, which require coordinated collective action, are at the last place (about 15%). The authors indicate that in order to work out effective measures against this phenomenon, a good knowledge of the sociocultural context and an active participation of anthropologists is necessary.

Funding Information

This research was supported by the following institutions and grants: Russian Foundation for Basic Research, [grant no. 10-06-00010 ]


Butovskaya, M.L., Lutsenko, O.L., Tkachuk, K.E. 2012. Bullying as a Sociocultural Phenomenon and Its Relation to Personality Traits among Younger School Children. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 5: 139-150

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