School Bullying And Student’s Development Sample Essay


Bullying is one of the major social challenges facing youth in our schools today. Ann and Aidan (2004) observe that there are two main types of bullying namely indirect and direct bullying. Students directly bully each other by fighting, kicking, pushing, and attacking using any available weapon. Indirect bullying entails gossiping, discriminating, teasing, and cyberbullying. The authors also denote that bullying creates a very poor environment for learning and adversely incapacitates the victims.

This paper entails an empirical research study that was carried out on a student to study the level of bullying in the specified school. It has been followed by an analysis of the findings through a review of theoretical literature.

A grade five child was chosen for the interview to ensure a higher probability of getting factual statistics since studies have shown that the youngest learners in terms of age are the most vulnerable victims to bullying (Gordon, Kathryn & Ann, 2012). The interview was conducted during a normal school day when students were out for a short break. The student being interviewed was engaged randomly in a conversation that was started at one edge of the football court.

The boy looked relaxed and responded to the interviewer’s questions well. Their twenty-minute interview focused on the general aspects of the student’s life in and outside the school, especially when relating with his peers. The interview questions and respective responses from the interviewee are tabled below.

Questions Answers
Alex, what do your close friends call you? Alex
Where do you live? In a nice house
What do you feel when at school? I don’t like it
What is your best way to learn? Listening to my teacher
Which subject is easy for you? Math
Do you like school? No
What do you hate about school? Everything
What do you do when free? In school I do nothing but at home, I play
What do you want to do when you grow up? I want to be a veterinary doctor
Do you want to change the world, Alex? Yes, I want to be rich
Do your friends get harassed in your school? What do you do when it happens? Yes, but I do nothing
Do you know the tough boy here? No
Can you stop bullying in this school? I don’t report them, I am wise


Deborah and Kathleen (2011) observe that out of the five developmental domains in children, cognitive and social developments are vividly distinguished from emotional and physical developments since they are greatly influenced by the outside inputs into a child’s life cycle. Besides, the existence of bullying modifies the victim’s abstract thinking, problem-solving skills, the general perception of suffering, social task attachment, and interaction with others.

Gordon, Kathryn, and Ann (2012) posit that a young person’s development into a cognitive socially healthy individual takes several factors into play. For instance, the interviewee exhibited significant evidence of bullying at school. This was characterized by materialism, heroism, and immortality when he claimed that all he wants is to be rich even at his age. The impact of bullying was profound as noted in the nature and mood of the interviewee’s reactions to the questions.

The intellectual development is dictated by the ability of a student to continue analyzing what has been taught in class and willingness to have dreams triggered by an interest in a specific part of the curriculum (Gordon, Kathryn & Ann, 2012).

In the interview, it was noted that Alex had been disoriented by the bully game in school and his wishes were excluded from mathematics which he finds to be simple. The demerits of bullying have pinned life out of the student’s world and he does enjoy school although he is still at school-going age.


Ann, M. & Aidan, M. (2004). Bullying: the truth. New York: Oxford University Press.

Deborah, P. & Kathleen, M. (2011). Blackwell handbook of early childhood development, Philadelphia: Wiley & Sons.

Gordon, R. Kathryn, W. & Ann, G. (2012). Beginning essentials in early childhood education. New York: Cengage Learning.

Justice And Morality In Coetzee’s “Waiting For The Barbarians”

Where are the borders between the truth and lies, between justice and injustice? Should the world be considered being civil and civilized, if it is based on the principles of law? What is the connection between law and justice, between civilization and the barbarian world? J. M. Coetzee has discussed these controversial questions in his novel Waiting for the Barbarians. The analysis of these contrasting aspects is presented in the form of the opposition between two characters of the novel, the Magistrate and Colonel Joll, and their visions of the problem of justice, humanity, and civilization. Power can reveal all the hidden personal features.

Moreover, every object and phenomenon has two sides. Therefore, the power of the Magistrate and Colonel Joll is their way to demonstrate their contradictory visions of the role of justice and morality in society as two sides of one phenomenon or different approaches to the situation.

The peculiarities of the characters’ attitude to the problems of morality and justice are depicted by J. M. Coetzee with the help of language devices that emphasize the positions of the Magistrate and Colonel Joll and the nature of their relationship. Their conflict develops according to several stages. However, it is not only a conflict of characters but a conflict of approaches to the principles of morality and ideologies.

Thus, “we also realize that this is to be a novel not about nuances of character but about a clash of moral styles, a drama of representative ways of governing” (Howe). This drama is described in the form of a vivid and emotional story with a lot of allegories and images which is told in a first-person narrative. The narrator is the Magistrate who had the power, but now he has to experience the changes in his community and to face new approaches to the authority provided by Colonel Joll.

The first interaction between the Magistrate and Colonel Joll can be described as the opposition between two men. However, this opposition is hidden because it is based on their different social status and powers of the Magistrate and Colonel Joll, but not on their different outlooks. Readers can feel the tension between them, but it is not obvious. It is possible to observe with paying much attention to the phrases which are presented in the form of the Magistrate’s thoughts about Colonel Joll.

Thus, he is rather confused with this person because “Colonel Joll is from the Third Bureau”, and “the Third Bureau is the most important division of the Civil Guard”, and “that is what we hear, anyhow, in gossip that reaches us long out of date from the capital” (Coetzee 1). The tensions are almost impossible to avoid in this situation because they touch the problem of power and influence in society.

Nevertheless, the relations between the Magistrate and Colonel Joll begin to acquire definite and obvious features of the conflict. J. M. Coetzee uses the concept of truth for depicting the contradictions between the characters:

“What if your prisoner is telling the truth,” I ask, “yet finds he is not believed? Is that not a terrible position? Imagine: to be prepared to yield, to yield, to have nothing more to yield, to be broken, yet to be pressed to yield more! And what a responsibility for the interrogator! How do you ever know when a man has told you the truth?” (Coetzee 3).

The author portrays all the features of a real dialogue with the help of word repetitions, the chain of emphatic questions, and by using exclamation marks. To depict the difference between the character’s understandings of the notion of truth, J. M. Coetzee concentrates on determining the character’s social positions. Their descriptions help to explain the Magistrate and Colonel Joll’s further actions. Colonel Joll is quite strict about his vision of truth. That is why the Magistrate concludes that for Colonel “pain is truth” (Coetzee 3). This phrase has a rather metaphorical meaning which is revealed by the author through his depictions of the tortures against the barbarians as the typical way for Colonel Joll and his people to know and state the truth.

That is why, even though the Magistrate tries to hide his thoughts and considerations about Colonel Joll behind the phrase that “the Empire does not require that its servants love each other, merely that they perform their duty”, the reader can observe the increase of the tensions between the characters whose visions of such important aspects as morality and responsibility are extremely contradictory (Coetzee 3). Thus, they cannot love each other or even understand each other because their opinions on the question are rather conflicting. “Unable to control the emissaries of the Third Bureau, the Magistrate wants to dissociate himself from their methods even as, in honesty, he has to admit that he and they are both servants of the Empire” (Howe).

Nevertheless, what does the Magistrate mean when he speaks about justice? Is there a correlation between justice and truth? In his speeches, the Magistrate focuses on the fact that all people are inclined to think that they know the nature and roots of justice. “You think you know what is just and what is not. I understand. We all think we know … all creatures come into the world bringing with them the memory of justice” (Coetzee 73).

Thus, people’s considerations about justice and injustice depend on those ideas with which they began to learn the world with its rules and norms. However, is it possible to say that truth can be considered as the base for justice? According to the Magistrate’s words, Colonel Joll has his visions of truth and justice, thus, “in his quest for the truth he is tireless” (Coetzee 12). However, Colonel Joll is also tireless in his providing violent actions against the barbarian population because it is his way to find the truth. Nevertheless, are these actions just about the barbarians? Thus, Colonel Joll’s borders of truth differ from his borders of justice.

On the other hand, the Magistrate’s attitude to justice and truth is based on the principles of morality and humanity. The author uses the protagonist’s initial monologue to express the depth of the character’s feelings. The monologue is characterized by a lot of short simple sentences that reflect the thoughts of the character. For instance, the Magistrate states, “The joy has gone from my life” or “I sleep like a dead man” (Coetzee 12). There are also many metaphors, similes, and allegories in the text of the novel which are used to imply the emotional state and attitude of the character to the individual situations.

In his novel, the author also depicts the development of the Magistrate’s opinion on the question of justice. If at the beginning of the novel the Magistrate discusses justice in its connection with truth concentrating on the aspects of morality, at the end of the novel the character makes accents on the principles of law as the base for justice. It is possible to think that the chain of events depicted in the novel influenced Magistrate’s vision of the concept of justice. Now it is necessary to find the balance between justice and law because the reality of life proves the fact that justice does not always lead to truth.

“…We live in a world of laws,” I said to my poor prisoner, “a world of the second-best. There is nothing we can do about that. We are fallen creatures. All we can do is to uphold the laws, all of us, without allowing the memory of justice to fade (Coetzee 73).

An open confrontation between the Magistrate and Colonel Joll depends on the changes in the positions of the characters. Thus, the situation is altered and the Magistrate is not a representative of the authorities anymore. He is considered by Colonel Joll and the community as an enemy. It can even seem that the Magistrate only states the facts, but the level of the tension is also presented with the help of the peculiarities of print. “I read the words upside down: ENEMY… ENEMY… ENEMY… ENEMY He steps back and folds his hands. At a distance of no more than twenty paces he and I contemplate each other” (Coetzee 56). The author depicts the controversial fact of injustice directed toward the Magistrate with the help of using emphatic sentences and repetitions of the words in which the thoughts of the Magistrate are expressed.

To depict the difference between Colonel Joll and the Magistrate’s visions of justice and morality, the author uses the description of the Magistrate’s tortures. It is emphasized that the torturers were interested only in demonstrating to the Magistrate “what it meant to live in a body, as a body, a body which can entertain notions of justice only as long as it is whole and well” (Coetzee 61). It was possible to do through the Magistrate’s feeling pain, but it is accentuated that the torturers also wanted to show the Magistrate “the meaning of humanity” (Coetzee 61).

The repetition of the word ‘body’ helps to pay attention to the fact that tortures aim to make a person suffer from pain, and after his sufferings, he could betray his views and ideals. However, physical pain is not as intense as moral sufferings which can be a result of betraying personal viewpoints. The Magistrate had to understand the price of humanity in society through the pain caused by the tortures.

The question of morality in the novel can be discussed as rather controversial. In Waiting for the Barbarians the notion of morality is associated with the peculiarities of the attitude toward the barbarians and toward the Magistrate, and with the problem of morality or immorality of Colonel Joll’s actions. Analyzing the elements of the development of the ‘civilized’ and ‘barbarian’ societies and the aspects of their opposition, J. M. Coetzee also examines the problem of a moral decline of the society. The vision of this moral decline is expressed with the help of depicting the Magistrate and Colonel Joll’s positions.

Reacting to the consequences of civilization for the Empire, the Magistrate states that “where civilization entailed the corruption of barbarian virtues and the creation of dependent people, I decided, I was opposed to civilization” (Coetzee 20). The issue of moral decline is also discussed in Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea. Thus, a moral decline can be associated with a person’s physical state and be a result of physical and mental diseases. Moreover, a moral decline can be considered as a social phenomenon in which origin is the social diseases from which the whole society and individuals in it suffer.

J. M. Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians is a complex picture of the colonial world in which definite rules and laws are based on the specific understanding of the notions of ‘justice’ and ‘morality’. Those principles which are common for the Empire’s organization reflect the principles which are typical for the whole colonial world. That is why it is possible to say that the nameless Empire is also timeless and is connected with the space of South Africa’s territory. Thus, Waiting for the Barbarians is “the story of one man’s efforts to break from the terrorizing ranks of his superiors, to make up in some way, shape, or form for the crimes committed with his passive consent” (Blyn).

The novel’s organization helps to describe the peculiarities of the conflict between ‘civilized’ and ‘barbarian’ worlds through the development of the conflict between two men whose visions of justice and morality are too opposite to each other. In his work, Blyn focuses on the fact that Coetzee in his novel does not allow readers’ confusing “the desire for expiation with something called “justice” (Blyn). Furthermore, the usage of lively dialogues and the narrator’s monologues helps readers to perceive the depicted story as true to life and the narrator’s voice as distinctive and convincing.

The conflict in relations between the Magistrate and Colonel Joll reveals their opposite visions of such phenomena as truth, justice, humanity, morality, and law. In his novel Waiting for the Barbarians, J. M. Coetzee has depicted the contradictory visions of the characters on the main aspects of life by paying attention to their attitude to the problem. If the Magistrate determines such main values as truth, morality, and humanity, and his vision of justice is based on these aspects, Colonel Joll discusses justice predominantly as connected with the principles of law. In this situation laws contribute to the needs of the state, but not the personal ones.

Thus, the concepts of justice and morality can be discussed from different points of view in society. One of the most controversial questions on which two men’s visions of justice depend is the issue of truth, its absolute nature, and moral aspects. It is important to pay attention to the fact that the Magistrate, after all his tortures, understands that justice is not always associated with truth, and morality is not the base for those laws which determine the realization of justice in society. Power is the origin of justice in that society where the main accent is made on laws, but not on morality.

Works Cited

Blyn, Robin. Something Called Justice: J. M. Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians. n.d. Web.

Coetzee, John Maxwell. Waiting for the Barbarians. New York, NY: Penguin Books, 2010. Print.

Howe, Irving. A Stark Political Fable of South Africa. 1982. Web.

Anarchy And Rationalism In International Relations

Anarchy is an important concept in International Relations (IR). How have IR scholars interpreted the significance and meaning of anarchy? Compare how neorealist (Waltz), neoliberal institutionalist (Keohane), and constructivist (Wendt) perspectives have addressed the question of anarchy.

When discussing anarchy or the absence of government and its importance, I would like to highlight some fundamentals of the issue. So, first of all, I would like to point out that “As an analytic concept, the term does not imply a lack of political order or the presence of chaos, and thus differs from informal and colloquial use” (Lake, n.d., p. 1). On the other hand, one is to keep in mind that anarchism can not be considered as the synonym of the previous term.

Generally, anarchy is recognized to be an important concept about International Relations. Thus, the absence of government is mostly associated with the contemporary international system. Taking into account the views of various scholars, it seems that sovereign and formally equal states can use only their resources and rely only on their efforts. However, the opinion that anarchy is mostly associated with the international system seems to be quite ambiguous.

For instance, some scholars suppose that the absence of government produces no struggle between various states. Others consider anarchy as a passive condition. However, the opinion of the so-called structural realists seems to be interesting and important. Thus, they recognize anarchy as an extremely important element of international structure.

Famous American political scientist Kenneth Waltz associated anarchy with the so-called self-help system. The scientist was sure that,

With many sovereign states, with no system of law enforceable among them,

with each state judging its grievances and ambitions according to the dictates

of its reason or desire – conflict, sometimes leading to war, is bound to

occur. To achieve a favorable outcome from such a conflict, a state has to

rely on its own devices, the relative efficiency of which must be it’s constant

concern (Waltz, 1959, p. 159).

Waltz’s followers are divided into defensive realists and offensive realists. According to the opinion of defensive realists, the states must seek security. Offensive realists-are sure that the states must struggle for domination, as anarchy seems to be a challenging condition.

Famous neoliberal institutionalist Robert Keohane was sure that institutionalism could facilitate cooperation under anarchy. In other words, when constructing such institutions, numerous positive consequences could take place (transaction costs reducing, information providing, etc.) For instance, according to institutionalist theory, security and political economy issues can be combined. Keohane & Axelrod (1986) wrote that “military-security issues display more of the characteristics associated with anarchy than do political-economic ones” (p. 227).

Taking into account the quotation, one is to understand that no separate analytical frameworks are needed; “Indeed, one of the major purposes of the present collection is to show that a single framework can throw light on both” (Keohane & Axelrod, 1986, p. 227). The opinion of one of the most prominent neoliberal institutionalists allows us to conclude that Keohane’s followers regarded anarchy “as a condition that could be mitigated if not fully resolved by voluntarily negotiated institutions between states” (Lake, n.d., p. 1). Simply speaking, there were certain contradictions concerning the views of neorealists and institutionalists.

Thus, Keohane’s followers thought that the aims of the state couldn’t be determined by anarchy; while Waltz’s followers had the opposite opinion. According to the basics of neoliberal institutionalism, building institutions was the right step to avoid anarchy’s implications. One can say that the states could subordinate themselves to some authorities; however, institutionalists do not accept this way, – building institutions under anarchy can help overcome various dilemmas.

One more opinion, which is to be discussed, is constructivists’ attitude towards anarchy. So, famous constructivist Alexander Wendt highlighted three schools of thought in International Relations. These schools were formed by neorealists, neoliberals, and constructivists. Neorealists consider anarchy as one of the most important determinants of the state functioning. Neoliberals, in their turn, supported the idea of interaction and learning. Finally, “constructivists share a cognitive, intersubjective conception of the process in which identities are interests are endogenous to interaction, rather than a rationalist-behavioral on in which they are exogenous” (Wendt, 1992, p. 1). Taking into account the previous statement, one can conclude that neorealists and neoliberals are mostly associated with rationalists.

According to Wendt’s followers, it becomes obvious that the concept of self-help has no relation to the absence of government. On the other hand, there is a need to clarify that structure of identity couldn’t follow logically from the absence of government. Thus, Wendt (1992) argues that “There is no logic of anarchy apart from the practices that create and instantiate one structure of identities and interests rather than another; structure has no existence or causal powers apart from the process” (p. 1).

Generally, Wendt states that identities and institutions are mutually constitutive elements the world is based on. According to this assumption, self-help is considered to be an institution. The constructivist was sure that the processes determined systemic evolution.

Many international relations theories are based on rational choice approaches to the study of politics. What are the advantages of the rational choice approach, if any? What are the critiques of rationalism? Support your argument by referring to appropriate literature.

When speaking about the rational choice approach most of the international relation theories are based on, it is necessary to point out that the rational choice is based on the assumption that individual behavior is determined by aim fulfillment. However, this approach is criticized by some political scientists, as according to them, the rational choice approach doesn’t satisfy various requirements of organized politics.

On the other hand, understanding human behavior is one of the crucial aspects political scientists are to draw their attention to. As far as the rational choice approach is concerned with social phenomena, it is obvious that interpersonal relations determine the character of the approach. “In the rational choice approach, individuals are seen as motivated by the wants or goals that express their preferences as well as other incentives like reward or promise of reward” (Orji,2009, p. 9).

In other words, persons are to achieve their goals under certain conditions. Homo economicus and homo politicus seem to be equal variables of the approach. The supporters of the approach want to find a rational behavior rule for various political ideologies. Generally, these theorists state that self-interest is an issue the rational choice approach is based on.

They say that the principal advantage of the rational choice approach is considered to be its ability to predict certain actions. It does not matter what level one means: the individual or the collective. This advantage arises from numerous general assumptions concerning a person’s behavior.

The theory of the rational choice approach appeared in the early sixties. It combined not only the cultural approaches but also structural-functional ones. Later the approach was associated with a positive political economy.

Other advantages of the approach include the ability to generalize about various events. The approach also permits explanations. The rational choice theory highlights the importance of institutionalism. For instance, it should be pointed out that rational choice institutionalism states that individuals’ strategic calculations are recognized to be the basic issues of social science as opposed to sociological, organizational, and historical institutionalism.

The core elements of the rational choice theory are also to be mentioned. Thus, taking into account that the individual is the core element of the theory, methodological individualism tends to analyze human behaviors. “Rational choice theory further requires a certain consistency of choice as part of the definition of rational action. In other words, as a theoretical requirement, it must be

possible to rank order the available options of an agent” (Green & Shapiro, 1994, p. 14). Utility maximation is an important variable, which allows a person to achieve the best objective. Generally, this variable allows us to analyze heterogenous benefits and costs; although a person’s desire (or self-interest) must not be selfish.

“One of the most significant weaknesses of rational choice theory when applied to empirical data and testing relates to the problem of aggregating from micro-Level observations to macro-level social output” (Rakner, 1996, p. 5). So, as far as the issue of aggregation is not studied properly, empirical tests can not be reliable.

Within the rational choice theory, some new perspectives can be found. The theory of collective action is one of the most widespread approaches, which appeared from rational choice theory. The second approach is transaction-cost economics. These directions are interdependent and based on rational utility-maximizing. The main difference between these approaches is related to the aspect of institutional change.

When speaking about the critiques of rationalism, it is necessary to highlight the fundamentals of a belief. Generally, the theory of rationalism is based on reason and knowledge. In other words, rationalism rejects emotional or religious approaches. All knowledge derived from emotional responses is recognized to be illusory. However, some critics suppose that the issue of morality can not be illusory. In other words, it exists. For instance, Regan’s book The Case for Animal Rights allows us to discuss human morality. Plumwood (1991) states that,

This is the most impressive, thorough, and solidly argued book in the area of

animal ethics, with excellent chapters on topics such as animal intentionality.

But the key concept upon which this account of moral concern for animals is

based is that of rights, which requires strong individual separation of rights-

holders and is set in a framework of the human community and legality.

However, one is to keep in mind that the concept of rights seems to be quite problematic, as there are certain contradictions concerning persons’ views. Thus, some people are ready to perform necessary obligations, others are not.

As far as various ethical issues exist, it is obvious that people consider them when taking various decisions or making choices. For this reason, one can state that knowledge can be derived from emotional senses. Generally, “it makes the connection between the critique of anthropocentrism and various other critiques that also engage critically with rationalism, such as feminism and critical theory, much more important-indeed essential – the understanding of each” (Plumwood, 1991, p. 303). So, that is the answer.


Axelrod R. & Keohane, R. (1986). “Achieving Cooperation Under Anarchy: Strategies and Institutions,” in Kenneth A. Oye, ed.,”Cooperation Under Anarchy”. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Green, D. & Shapiro, I. (1994). The Pathologies of Rational Choice Theory. A Critique of Applications in Political Science. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Lake, D. (n.d.). Anarchy. Web.

Orji, N. (2009). The Study of Politics: Logic, Approaches and Methods. Web.

Plumwood, V. (1991). Nature, Self, and Gender: Feminism, Environmental Philosophy, and the Critique of Rationalism. Web.

Rakner, L. (1996). Rational Choice and the Problem of Institutions. Web.

Waltz, K. (1959). Man, the State and War: A Theoretical Analysis. New York: Columbia University Press.

Wendt, A. (1992). Anarchy Is What States Make of It: The Social Construction of Power Politics. Web.

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