You’ve got the disease: how disgust in child culture shapes school bullying

Eran Hakim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This paper brings an ethnographic experience to bear on the existing research field of school bullying, rounding out our understanding by focusing on an essential aspect: children’s culture. Based on 14 months of fieldwork and a close analysis of the case of Anat, a 9-year-old victim of bullying, the paper identifies a unique formation of school bullying with no leading bully. Drawing from theoretical approaches which focus on pupils’ everyday life, the paper asserts that bullying without a leading bully is rooted in children’s culture which effectively enforces bullying as a binding norm by constructing its object as disgusting. The paper explores how disgust shapes school bullying into a collective omnipresent rejection. It also discusses intervention programmes and suggests that within such a social position, one practice to consider would be transferring to a new environment where bullied pupils will not be forced to cope with collectively enforced prejudices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-225
Number of pages16
JournalEthnography and Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • School bullying
  • disgust
  • ethnography
  • peer rejection
  • stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education


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