Bullying

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Chapter 11 endnote 63, from How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett.
Some context is:

How do you regulate the playground in a legal context? [...] Matters surrounding bullying are made more complicated by the fact that our culture treats bullying as normative.

Bullying is embedded in North American culture. Sometimes it passes for comedy. TV sitcoms are full of relational aggression (as I mention in chapter 10, endnote 45), and children and adolescents imitate what they see. This casual brutality has cultivated a massive blind spot in our culture ("kids will be kids") that sometimes has tragic consequences. For example, children and adolescents who are bullied suffer from inflammation in their bodies that continues into adulthood.[1] We discussed how this kind of systemic inflammation is linked to a host of mental and physical illnesses in chapter 10. In the UK, bullying is considered an important part of school life and is even sanctioned in the law as the "rough horseplay" defense.


Notes on the Notes

  1. Copeland, William E. and others. 2014. "Childhood bullying involvement predicts low-grade systemic inflammation into adulthood." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111 (21): 7570-7575.