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Bully nation : how the American establishment creates a bullying society / Charles Derber and Yale R. Magrass.

By: Derber, Charles.
Material type: TextTextSeries: JSTOR eBooks.Publisher: University Press of Kansas, 2015Description: 1 online resource.Content type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 0700622640; 9780700622641.Subject(s): Bullying -- United States | Aggressiveness -- United States | Violence -- United StatesAdditional physical formats: Print version:: Bully nation.DDC classification: 302.34/30973 Online resources: Click here to view this ebook. Summary: "Bullying in American society has reached epidemic proportions and become one of the nation's most widely discussed social problems. Even so, Derber and Magrass argue that to truly understand the nature and source of this behavior, the national conversation about bullying needs to push well beyond the narrowly focused psychological and therapeutic narratives that currently dominate. By highlighting how bullying threads throughout our society's government, corporate, and military institutions--at home and on the global stage--they hope to create a paradigm shift in the national conversation on this important subject"-- Provided by publisher.Summary: "It's not just the bully in the schoolyard that we should be worried about. The one-on-one bullying that dominates the national conversation, this timely book suggests, is actually part of a larger problem--a natural outcome of the bullying nature of our national institutions. And as long as the United States embraces militarism and aggressive capitalism, systemic bullying and all its impacts--at home and abroad--will persist as a major crisis. Bullying looks very similar on the personal and institutional levels: it involves an imbalance of power and behavior that consistently undermines its victim, securing compliance and submission and reinforcing the bully's sense of superiority and legitimacy. The similarity, this book tells us, is not a coincidence. Applying the concept of the "sociological imagination," which links private problems and public issues, authors Charles Derber and Yale Magrass argue that individual bullying is an outgrowth--and a necessary function--of a larger social phenomenon. Bullying is seen here as a structural problem arising from systems organized around steep power hierarchies--from the halls of the Pentagon, Congress, and corporate offices to classrooms and playing fields and the environment. Dominant people and institutions need to create a culture in which violence and aggression are seen as natural and just: one where individuals compete over who will be bully or victim, and each is seen as deserving their fate within this hierarchy. The larger the inequalities of power in society, or among nations, or even across species, the more likely it is that both institutional and personal bullying will become commonplace. The authors see the life-long psychological scars interpersonal bullying can bring, but believe it is almost impossible to reduce such bullying without first challenging the institutions that breed and encourage it. In the United States a system of intertwined corporations, governments, and military institutions carries out "systemic bullying" to create profits and sustain its own power. While acknowledging the diversity and savagery of many other bully nations, the authors contend that America, as the most powerful nation in the world--and one that aggressively promotes its system as a model--merits special attention. It is only by recognizing the bullying built into this model that we can address the real problem, and in this, Bully Nation makes a hopeful beginning"-- Provided by publisher.
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Item type Current location Call number URL Status Date due Barcode
Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
Online
BF637.B85 .D47 2016 (Browse shelf) https://ezproxy.uttyler.edu/login?url=http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/j.ctt1bw1gx0 Available ocn948780787

Print version record.

"Bullying in American society has reached epidemic proportions and become one of the nation's most widely discussed social problems. Even so, Derber and Magrass argue that to truly understand the nature and source of this behavior, the national conversation about bullying needs to push well beyond the narrowly focused psychological and therapeutic narratives that currently dominate. By highlighting how bullying threads throughout our society's government, corporate, and military institutions--at home and on the global stage--they hope to create a paradigm shift in the national conversation on this important subject"-- Provided by publisher.

"It's not just the bully in the schoolyard that we should be worried about. The one-on-one bullying that dominates the national conversation, this timely book suggests, is actually part of a larger problem--a natural outcome of the bullying nature of our national institutions. And as long as the United States embraces militarism and aggressive capitalism, systemic bullying and all its impacts--at home and abroad--will persist as a major crisis. Bullying looks very similar on the personal and institutional levels: it involves an imbalance of power and behavior that consistently undermines its victim, securing compliance and submission and reinforcing the bully's sense of superiority and legitimacy. The similarity, this book tells us, is not a coincidence. Applying the concept of the "sociological imagination," which links private problems and public issues, authors Charles Derber and Yale Magrass argue that individual bullying is an outgrowth--and a necessary function--of a larger social phenomenon. Bullying is seen here as a structural problem arising from systems organized around steep power hierarchies--from the halls of the Pentagon, Congress, and corporate offices to classrooms and playing fields and the environment. Dominant people and institutions need to create a culture in which violence and aggression are seen as natural and just: one where individuals compete over who will be bully or victim, and each is seen as deserving their fate within this hierarchy. The larger the inequalities of power in society, or among nations, or even across species, the more likely it is that both institutional and personal bullying will become commonplace. The authors see the life-long psychological scars interpersonal bullying can bring, but believe it is almost impossible to reduce such bullying without first challenging the institutions that breed and encourage it. In the United States a system of intertwined corporations, governments, and military institutions carries out "systemic bullying" to create profits and sustain its own power. While acknowledging the diversity and savagery of many other bully nations, the authors contend that America, as the most powerful nation in the world--and one that aggressively promotes its system as a model--merits special attention. It is only by recognizing the bullying built into this model that we can address the real problem, and in this, Bully Nation makes a hopeful beginning"-- Provided by publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

This sociological, structural commentary on power imbalances in the US uses the current popular interest in bullying to draw attention to and impugn the institutionalized "bullying" behaviors and values of corporate, militarized US capitalism. Sociologists Derber (Boston College) and Magrass (Univ. of Massachusetts, Dartmouth) argue that to grow up in a family, be educated, work, join the military or the academy is to be dominated, threatened, and structurally bullied. The argument, while familiar, does come with very recent examples and an analysis of the underlying power relations in economic, political, educational, environmental, familial, and military institutions. It has many recent examples (Black Lives Matter, Trump's presidential bid) of the way social power operates to maintain inequality and to benefit the elites. The book is well sourced and draws on classic writings in the tradition. The solutions proposed include imitating alternative softer capitalist models (notably, the progressive European countries) and encouraging involvement in cultural movements that shift the focus to equality and justice. Couching the central argument in the discourse on bullying is not helpful to those already familiar with this tradition, but as a text for undergraduate collections in social problems, the book would be ideal. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Undergraduate collections. --Kathleen M. McKinley, Cabrini College

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