A Position Statement on Social Justice, Physical Education and Bullying: A Figurational Sociological Perspective

Philippa Velija, Mark Mierzwinski, Steven Cock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Bullying is increasingly considered to be an important moral, political and social issue within modern society. Academic research on this issue has mostly been examined through a psychological lens, often using questionnaire data to examine and explain the prevalence of different types of bullying. In this position statement, we apply a figurational sociological perspective to examine issues of school-based bullying in physical education. We critically reflect on attempts to position bullying amongst young people as a ‘social justice’ issue and argue that core figurational principles might potentially help researchers strive towards a more reality-congruent means of conceptualizing the power-relationships that are inherent within bullying. We further maintain that the development of a more detached understanding of issues relating to bullying might provide a more adequate basis to contribute to future ongoing policy development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-226
Number of pages12
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2019


Cite this