In this examination of the ubiquitous practice of bullying among youth, compelling first person stories vividly convey the lived experience of peer torment and how it impacted the lives of five diverse young women. Author Keith Berry’s own autoethnographic narratives and analysis add important relational communication, methodological, and ethical dimensions to their accounts. The personal stories create an opening to understand how this form of physical and verbal violence shapes identities, relationships, communication, and the construction of meaning among a variety of youth. The layered narrative
-describes the practices constituting bullying and how youth work to cope with peer torment and its aftermath, largely focusing on identity construction and well being;
-addresses contemporary cyberbullying as well as other forms of relational aggression in many social contexts across race, gender, and sexual orientations;
-is written in a compelling way to be accessible to students in communication, education, psychology, social welfare, and other fields.
About the Author
Keith Berry is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of South Florida and past Chair of the National Communication Association’s Ethnography Division. He serves as Co-Chair of the Anti-Bullying Initiative Task Force for the National Communication Association (NCA). Berry’s teaching and research use cultural and narrative approaches to study relational communication and identity, primarily identity negotiation within bullying. He also explores reflexivity in ethnographic and autoethnographic research, LGBTQ culture, and queer theory. His work has appeared in journals such as Journal of Applied Communication Research, Text and Performance Quarterly, Review of Communication, Journal of Education, Journal of Family Communication Research, Cultural StudiesCritical Methodologies, and Qualitative Inquiry, and in numerous scholarly edited books. He has been honored with the Goodall and Trujillo It’s a Way of Life Award of the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry and (with coeditor Robin P. Clair) Best Special Journal Issue by the NCA Ethnography Division.