A Contemporary History of Bullying & Violence in South Korean Schools

  •  Trent M. Bax    


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(Online): 1916-9663
  • Started: 2009
  • Frequency: semiannual

Journal Metrics

Google-based Impact Factor (2017): 5.42
h-index (January 2018): 11
i10-index (January 2018): 21
h5-index (January 2018): 6
h5-median (January 2018): 9

Learn More