SCHOOL VIOLENCE AND GENDER - PERCEPTIONS OF PUPILS AND SCHOOL STAFF IN ONE SCHOOL IN BELGRADE/SERBIA

Undergraduate

Abstract


 

This thesis aims to describe and analyze the problem of violence among pupils and its connection with gender. The main aim is to explore how gender roles are connected with the use of violence among pupils, through a social constructionistic perspective. Power inequalities are also a great factor for creating violent situations and happenings. That is why I also investigated power relations between the genders in the school. Another aim of the study was also to investigate how UNICEF s program “School without violence” was accepted in the school.

 

The research was conducted in one primary school in Serbia. The qualitative method was used in this research. The research was based on two main techniques: focus group interviews with pupils and individual interviews with school staff. Through the qualitative method I got to know the pupils and school staffs inner thoughts and perceptions towards the phenomenon investigated. Observations were made on the school to get to know the environment.

 

The interviews and observations demonstrated that boys and girls use different types of violence and that the violence they use is strongly connected to their gender roles. Boys have a greater access to physical violence which they see as a resource for producing hegemonic masculinities. Boys’ violence gets more attention in the schools as it is seen as most visible.

 

Girls use psychological violence as it is more accepted to their gender. Girls’ violence is the violence that gets less attention from school staff as it is described as invisible and difficult to handle.

 

Girls being violent and dominant were seen as “sluts” and “bimbos” from their peers. Being physically violent in school as a girl was in this way riskier for the girls because they got easier labeled.