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Dorte Marie Søndergaard

The thrill of bullying: bullying, humour and the making of community

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Humour can be utilised to mark out the boundaries of social groups, to produce and restore dignity, but also to produce contempt, marginalise and exclude. Humour and ridicule can be used to influence hierarchies and positioning among children in the classroom and it can have strong effects in school groups saturated with bullying practices. Ridicule appears to be widespread, very much feared, and not amenable to adult interventions. With this article I look into the many and frequently subtle ways humour intertwines itself in relational practices among children, with a particular view towards children in groups plagued by bullying and social tension. I focus on the entanglement of humour in the complex manoeuvrings that characterise children’s worlds, and the subtle mechanisms involved in the self-regulation of their communities in and outside schools. The analyses, concepts, and theory that I develop are grounded in the qualitative data such as interviews with children and extensive observation in schools and in after school care.
TidsskriftJournal for the Theory of Social Behaviour
Sider (fra-til)48-65
Antal sider23
StatusUdgivet - 1 mar. 2018


  • Humour, Ridicule, Bullying, Children, School, Social exclusion anxiety, Børnekultur, Mobning, Trivsel, Grundskole

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