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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 221407 Find in a Library
Title: Scapegoating: Another Step Towards Understanding the Processes Generating Bullying in Groups?
Journal: Journal of School Violence  Volume:6  Issue:4  Dated:2007  Pages:81-103
Author(s): Roz Dixon
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 23
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The study explored experiences of peer relationships within the deaf and hearing impaired population.
Abstract: The study concluded that scapegoating was an unconscious group process, established during the second stage of group development to prevent the group from disintegrating as a result of unexpressed resentment towards the group’s leader. Recognizing that power can be exploited as well as used to the benefit of others, the group will move from dependency upon its leader to a desire to share power. This is not dependent on whether the leader is abusive or exploitative. Until sharing occurs, the group will direct the frustration they feel towards the leader onto the scapegoat. Should the leader refuse to share power, scapegoating is likely to be exacerbated. These attacks are likely to be varied in form and to include hurtful rejecting behavior. During this period there will be pressure to conform within the group, and there are likely to be splits and competitiveness between group members. The scapegoat may be an individual or a subgroup and the role may be passed between members or subgroups. If the appointed scapegoat is not available, another individual or sub-group will be scapegoated. A scapegoat is selected because they symbolize the unconscious conflicts within the group, they are resilient, and, unconsciously, they collude with the group in taking on the role to save the group from disintegration. The need for a scapegoat will be resolved when the group finally directs its frustration directly towards its leader and successfully challenges them to share power. At that point, the scapegoat will be reintegrated into the group, signaling the group’s increasing ability to accept difference. The sample consisted of 35 adults from 18 to 55 years of age, with varying degrees of deafness, and who had been bullied. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Behavioral and Social Sciences; Bullying; Peer influences on behavior
Index Term(s): Behavior patterns; Emotional Abuse/Harm; Group behavior; Group dynamics; Older Adults (65+); Young Adults (18-24)
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