How are Girls' Attitudes Toward Cyberbullying Affected by Drama for Social Intervention?
Fournier, Gillian L.
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This is a study exploring teenaged girls’ understanding and experiences of cyberbullying as a contemporary social phenomenon. Participants included 4 Grade 11 and 12 girls from a medium-sized independent school in southwestern Ontario, Canada. The girls participated in 9 extracurricular study sessions from January to April 2013. During the sessions, they engaged with Drama for Social Intervention (Clark, 2009; Conrad, 2004; Lepp, 2011) activities with the intended goal of producing a collective creation. Qualitative data were collected throughout the sessions using fieldnotes, participant journals, interviews, and participant artefacts. The findings are presented as an ethnodrama (Campbell & Conrad, 2006; Denzin, 2003; Saldaña, 1999) with each thematic statement forming a title of a scene in the script (Rogers, Frellick, & Babinski, 2002). The study found that girl identity online consists of many disconnected avatars. It also suggested that distancing (Eriksson, 2011) techniques, used to engender safety in Drama for Social Intervention, might have contributed to participant disengagement with the study’s content. Implications for further research included the utility of arts-based methods to promote participants’ feelings of growth and reflection, and a reevaluation of cyberbullying discourses to better reflect girls’ multiple avatar identities. Implications for teachers and administrators encompassed a need for preventative approaches to cyberbullying education, incorporating affective empathy-building (Ang & Goh, 2010) and addressing girls’ feelings of safety in perceived anonymity online.