In her forceful social history, Bullying, Laura Martocci explores the “bully culture” that has claimed national attention since the late 1990s.
Moving beyond the identification of aggressive behaviors to an analysis of how and why we have arrived at a culture that thrives on humiliation, she critiques the social forces that gave rise to, and help maintain, bullying. Martocci’s analysis of gossip, laughter, stereotyping, and competition—dynamics that foment bullying and prompt responses of shame, violence, and depression—is positioned within a larger social narrative: the means by which we negotiate damaged social bonds and the role that bystanders play in the possibility of atonement, forgiveness, and redemption.
Martocci’s fresh perspective on bullying positions shame as pivotal. She urges us to acknowledge the pain and confusion caused by social disgrace; to understand its social, psychological, and neurological nature; and to address it through narratives of loss, grief, and redemption—cultural supports that are already in place.
About the Author
Laura Martocci is a sociologist and the Founder and Director of the S.A.R.A. Project® (Students Against Relational Aggression). Most recently, she was a faculty member and an Associate Dean at Wagner College.
“A very useful and up-to-date discussion of the social-emotional origins of bullying.”— Thomas Scheff, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Santa Barbara
“Martocci’s book offers a new and exciting interdisciplinary and sociocultural approach to the serious and complex issue of bullying. Her approach focuses on the psychosocial dynamics of humiliation and shame—how to understand this relational process and how to change the behaviors that restore people’s relations and identities. Bullying is complex and multifaceted work. I am greatly impressed by Martocci’s analysis and framework, which draw from social science and social theory, social psychology, and psychoanalysis. I am certain that Bullying will have a wide appeal to both academics working in cultural studies and educators, practitioners, and clinicians working on this social problem.”—E. Doyle McCarthy, Professor of Sociology at Fordham University