Ijime Bullying Effects

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Bullying, or ijime, has been recognised as a prevalent social phenomenon in the Japanese society since 1980s (Treml, 2001). As proposed by Olweus, bullying usually entails repetitive and intentionally aggressive actions towards the bullied who are often overpowered and incapable of effective self-defense (1999). In the context of Japan, ijime is further complicated by unique cultural elements, such as collectivism (Nesdale & Naito, 2005) and a “bystander” attitude (Morita, 1996). Due to the prominent negative psychological impact on not only the bullies and the bullied but also the bystanders, ijime in Japanese schools was marked as a serious social problem after several suicide cases in 1984 and 1985 (Treml, 2001). This problem
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Many psychological impacts of ijime are persisting and deep-rooted in the participants and the bystanders in ijime. We thus propose that such impacts interact with sararīmen’s decisions to seek schoolgirls. Therefore, how can the psychological impacts of sararīmen’s past experiences with ijime be connected with their demand for enjo-kōsai? We aim to answer this question in this study in three steps. First, we will present our research on how exactly is ijime conducted in Japanese schools and workplaces; second, we will explicate the psychological impacts of ijime, especially on males; finally, we will propose the link between psychological impacts of ijime on sararīmen and their choice to participate in enjo-kōsai. Through a thorough review of the current literature on ijime in Japanese schools and workplaces and its psychological impacts, we will argue that ijime reinforces conformity to societal norms and expectations, leading to a loss of individuality and self-expression; …show more content…
However, recent studies have also shown bullying also affects the mental health of bystanders, who also plays a key role in supporting it as “assistants” who play a secondary role by helping the bullies, “re-inforcers” who encourage the bullying, or “outsiders” who pretends not to notice or does not take sides. (Rivers & Noret, 2013)

The collectivistic nature of bullying in Japan results in negative impacts on not only the bullied but also on the bully and bystanders as students who witness cases of bullying can experience covictimization, experiencing the effects of bullying due to empathy or fear of becoming a future victim. (Brank, Hoetger & Hazen, 2012) In fact, in many cases bystanders are influenced by a group of bullies to join in and bully the victim together due to this fear.

For example, one student describes a case of ijime as follows:

“The whole class got excited when the ijime began. Seven or eight bullies actually participated in bullying him, but others surrounded us saying, “come on!” to encourage the situation.” (Toyota, 1994 cited in Tamaki,

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