A Contemporary History of Bullying & Violence in South Korean Schools


  •  Trent M. Bax    

Abstract

At the end of 2011 a bully-suicide case set off a wave of public and political concern for and increased sensitivity toward bullying-and-violence in South Korean schools. Following yet another high-profile bully-suicide case in 2013 the issue of school violence was designated a ‘social evil,’ with punitive-leaning and security-centric measures quickly implemented to try and ‘eradicate’ bullying-and-violence from South Korean society. During this period a particular discourse emerged - seemingly supported by survey data - claiming violence in schools in recent years has: a) become more pervasive, b) is occurring earlier and, c) like ‘gangsters,’ violent students are becoming more ‘organized.’ This paper critically analyzes this discourse by offering a ‘history of the present’ of school violence in South Korea from the 1950s until the present. Historical, empirical, developmental and international data are used to more accurately situate student-initiated violence, and, at the same time, to call in to question the current perceptions of juvenile delinquency and of juvenile justice.



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • Issn(Print): 1916-9655
  • Issn(Onlne): 1916-9663
  • Started: 2009
  • Frequency: semiannual

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