Bullies as Guardians of the Moral Order or an Ethic of Truths?


Bronwyn Davies, University of Melbourne, 20/11 Springfield Ave, Potts Point, NSW 2011, Australia, Tel.: +61 2 9380 7257. E-mail: daviesb@unimelb.edu.au


This article offers a critique of the individualisation and pathologisation that underpin most current working definitions of bullying. In lieu of this usual mode of thinking about bullying, this article draws on concepts from Foucault, Deleuze, Butler and Badiou, to re-cast bullying not as pathological, but as an excessive and misguided defence of a fixed and dominant normative moral order. A very different approach to dealing with school bullying is sketched out, where it is proposed that children learn a new form of ethical relationality in which they are open to difference and to their own ongoing creative evolution. This approach argues for the importance of the teachers working with children, rather than selecting out individuals as bullies and victims to be treated.