Study on expert discourse on school bullying

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Place of the thesis defence

University of Oulu, Linnanmaa, OP-hall (L10)

Topic of the dissertation

Study on expert discourse on school bullying

Doctoral candidate

Master of Education Anne-Mari Väisänen

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Education and Psychology, Teachers, Teaching and Educational Communities

Subject of study



Professor Sirpa Lappalainen, University of Eastern Finland


Professor Maija Lanas, University of Oulu

Visit thesis event

Add event to calendar

Research on expert discourse on school bullying

School bullying is one of the most influential and emotive topics of debate in Finland in recent decades. Despite 50 years of research and efforts to tackle bullying, it is still a central problem in schools and has a major impact on the lives of children and young people.

This doctoral thesis examined expert discourses on school bullying in professional literature and policy documents.

The study shows that Finnish expert discourses on bullying focus on the risk factors and behaviour of individual children and young people. It does not usually recognise the contextual factors that produce emotional or physical violence, like racism or heteronormativity, or the impact of the school environment. Also, the perspectives of teachers, children and young people themselves are excluded. Bullying is prevented or resolved by disciplining the children who are perceived as bullies and victims.

The study highlights how expert discourses on bullying leave no room for the central tasks of education and schools, such as dialogical and ethical education, recognising and supporting the active agency of children and young people, and transmitting values also through the example of the educator.
Last updated: 23.1.2024