In today's schools, kids bullying kids is not an occasional occurrence but rather an everyday reality where children learn early that being sensitive, respectful, and kind earns them no respect. Jessie Klein makes the provocative argument that the rise of school shootings across America, and childhood aggression more broadly, are the consequences of a society that actually promotes aggressive and competitive behavior. The Bully Society is a call to reclaim America's schools from the vicious cycle of aggression that threatens our children and our society at large.
Heartbreaking interviews illuminate how both boys and girls obtain status by acting "masculine"-displaying aggression at one another's expense as both students and adults police one another to uphold gender stereotypes. Klein shows that the aggressive ritual of gender policing in American culture creates emotional damage that perpetuates violence through revenge, and that this cycle is the main cause of not only the many school shootings that have shocked America, but also related problems in schools, manifesting in high rates of suicide, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self-cutting, truancy, and substance abuse. After two decades working in schools as a school social worker and professor, Klein proposes ways to transcend these destructive trends-transforming school bully societies into compassionate communities.
"This powerful, necessary book shows how the epidemic cruelty of young people generates many of the social problems that are undermining American society. In pondering what it means to be a bully and to be the victim of a bully, Jessie Klein shows why our schools are failing us, explains crimes long viewed as inexplicable, and offers a stunning indictment of laissez-faire attitudes toward children. Her book illuminates a very dark problem, and proposes solutions that, if we are brave enough to adopt them, might be transformative not only in the lives of suffering individuals, but also in the health of the nation. I wish everyone around me had had this book to read when I was bullied as a child." - Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon "Taking the horrific rampage school shootings as a starting point, Jessie Klein resists pop-psychology profiling, and instead lets the events ramify outwards, to a searing indictment of the cultures of cruelty, entitlement and indifference in which those acts take place." - Michael Kimmel, author of Guyland "The Bully Society is riveting and powerful--Klein uncovers the roots of depression, school shootings, and other despair in American schools and offers brilliant and doable solutions. The Bully Society points the way for students and schools to develop their full potential." - Liz Murray, author of Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness and Survival "Exceptionally readable, abundant examples, and full of salient suggestions for social change; no future discussion of this topic can afford to ignore The Bully Society." - James W. Messerschmidt, author of Hegemonic Masculinities and Camouflaged Politics: Unmasking the Bush Dynasty and Its War against Iraq "In her excellent examination of the school bullying epidemic, Klein, an assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice at Adelphi University, takes a broad approach to the subject. She first lays out the scope of the problem, before explaining how kids' changing attitudes towards masculinity, the birth of child-targeted consumerism and the erosion of our compassionate society have all helped to create a culture in which children are increasingly feeling overwhelmed and helpless, and, in some cases, prone to violence. Most provocatively, she ties the rise of bullying behavior to America's economic move to the right." - Salon.com "Professor Klein has rendered an exceedingly thorough analysis of the bullying and hate crimes and shootings that have shocked America in the last decade or so." - TheNYJournalofBooks.com "After studying the 166 school shootings on record between 1979 and 2009 and interviewing dozens of students, Klein, a former school counselor who now teaches sociology and criminal justice, forms a coherent, heartbreaking narrative of how bullying works." - Boston Globe, March 25th 2012
Series: Intersections: Transdisciplinary Perspectives on Genders and Sexualities (Hardcover)
Number Of Pages: 318
Published: 6th February 2012
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 16.1 x 2.7
Weight (kg): 0.55