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TITLE OF DOCUMENT:

The bully in the global village

NAME OF AUTHOR(S):

Zanaboni M.

NAME OF PUBLISHER:

Legalità, responsabilità e cittadinanza

LANGUAGE OF DOCUMENT:

Italian

LANGUAGE OF THE REVIEW:

English

KEYWORDS:

Cyber bullying – virtual village – global bully – technology – mediation

DOCUMENT TYPOLOGY:

Report

TARGET GROUP OF PUBLICATION:

Parents, Policy Makers, Teachers, Researchers, Young People, School Directors.

SIZE OF THE PUBLICATION:

1 - 20 pages

DESCRIPTION OF CONTENTS:

The first part deals with adolescents in the "web" of the global village. The computer - the most powerful technology that has deeply affected our relationship with others, with ourselves, with our work, with the whole world - has given rise to a new type of society: the multi-screen one, which ousted the "old" traditional media society of radio, cinema and TV. The pre-adolescent, even the child has a "fleet" to dispose of it: the portable PC, equipped with Internet, DVD, mobile phone, iPod and iPhone and so on. This multiplication of screens has created a new generation of Digital Natives, the Screen generation.
The second point deals with a reflection of this phenomenon. Who enters the network "live" in a virtual village, inhabited by millions of people of different language, race, culture and religion. Here he feels at home and moves easily. He chooses what to do and to communicate, how to create relationships among peers, here he builds his culture and plays: he gets to create his new image: a new identity with a new name (the nickname) even a different appearance (he becomes tall if he is short, thin if he is fat, in other words "cool" if he is not). Here, in the web network, he finds a unique opportunity: to live as a real star; he is a virtual real protagonist, as virtual is his image and identity, as are his virtual relationships. This historical reality inevitably produces an alienated subjectivity, a sense of exteriority with respect to the surrounding world: the world and the others become objects of use”.
In his virtual world he is actually alone, abandoned by the adults who are called to take care of him and of his education and training. It is a loneliness that he can 'fill in only virtually, only escaping from reality, which is the reason why at school, bar, at home, in disco or on a bus he does nothing but clicks continuously to build relationships. He replaces true feelings and real emotions that fall uselessly in the virtual network. He finds a space where, due to the lack of rules, he can give vent to the most negative traits of his teenage need of being the protagonist. The guy chooses a victim, weak and helpless, who becomes the object of his physical and psychological persecution and "becomes a media hero", a "global bully".
The victim, the oppressed prey, does not remain a victim only once, but becomes the victim caught the infinite virtual space, and the image (photograph, film, etc.) representing verbal or physical violence, is immortalized and made untouchable in virtual space.
If the bully becomes a "global bully", the victim also becomes "global victim", which implies that his discomfort will increase exponentially: the silence, exclusion, a sense of helplessness, humiliation, shame, fear of others’ opinions which marks every victim of bullying, often become unsustainable when you are at the mercy of an act of cyber bullying.

REVIEWER’S COMMENTS ON THE DOCUMENT:

In the report there is an interesting part concerning statistics and tips. A study reveals that the phenomenon of cyber bullying among adolescents has significant proportions. A third of the adolescents interviewed (aged 12 to 17 years) answered they were victims of bullying and humiliation through the net and cell phones. Photos taken with cell phones, texting, email, chat and social networking seem to be the favourite tools of the new peer predators. Some tips that may be taken into consideration are the will to create a new social agreement with strong educational implications: a social agreement that must involve first of all the adults (fathers, mothers, older brothers and sisters, managers and teachers, the educational, prevention and health institutions) and people apparently not involved in first person, as businessmen, journalists, advertising agents etc. A social pact with strong technological /educational and ethical aspects at the same time.
Creating awareness and control in case of bullying and cyber bullying can be a valuable tool to support the mediation, involving as mediators, not only adults, but also young people through the resource of the peer education. The technology may become a new tool for a new and unique “mediation of the conflict " because it can capture the "predator" if not the victim.
According to the recent directions of the On. Minister Gelmini about the study of civic education, the new technology revolution cannot take off if you do not start from the School; it is at school that our children and young people spend most of their time, the school is the favorite stage of their positive or negative behavior. So we must have the courage to start right here, after having the teachers trained.

NAME OF THE REVIEWING ORGANISATION:

don Milani

I Am Not Scared Project
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