Bullying Between Societal Groups: Playground Politics on a Grand Scale

  • Paul R. Smokowski
  • Caroline B. R. Evans


In this chapter, we apply our definition of the bullying dynamic— repeated aggression over time, power imbalance, and intent to harm—to macro level conflict between social groups. Bullying does not just happen on a small scale on school playgrounds, college campuses, or at home. Bullying also occurs on a larger scale including racism, discrimination, genocide, and mass murder which are often spearheaded by the multiple hate groups in the US and around the globe. Further, the inequality present in the US contributes to unequal power that can set up bullying dynamics between socioeconomic classes, genders, and races/ethnicities. A theoretical lens (i.e., social capital theory, social dominance theory, oppression model) is used to explain group level bullying. This chapter examines how bullying is a global phenomenon that occurs outside the bounds of school yards and can be huge in scale with devastating consequences.


Racism Discrimination Hate groups Genocide 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul R. Smokowski
    • 1
  • Caroline B. R. Evans
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Social WelfareUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA
  2. 2.Rhode Island CollegeProvidenceUSA

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