Nicole Malette

  • May 25
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University of British Columbia

Academic institutions play a huge role in our social development. As a sociologist, I’m keenly interested in how the contexts of educational institutions influence our overall life outcomes (e.g. physical health, mental health, occupational outcomes mobility). I am currently investigating the how post-secondary institutional environments impact individual students’ mental health, by evaluating the extent to which undergraduate students’ mental well-being and service utilization are directly impacted by institutional contexts and how these institutional contexts buffer or exacerbate mental health inequalities across student groups.

In “Forms of Fighting: A Micro-Social Analysis of Bullying and In-School Violence”, I attempt to explain both the types of interpersonal violence that young people take part in at school, and whether or not the types of violence that students describe resonate with the current violence literature. In-depth interviews with secondary school students demonstrate that they have the potential to engage in many different types of interpersonal conflict while at school. I find evidence for the occurrence of four types of interpersonal violence (peer-to-peer, honour contests, intergroup fights, and scapegoating violence), similar to those outlined by Randal Collins (2008). In addition to these four types of violence, this research demonstrates that students also take part in another form of violence: retaliatory violence.

My hope is that this work helps education professionals identify different forms of violence and how the social dynamics involved in those behaviours differ. This is important for creating effective violence intervention and prevention methods.

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