Social Work



Degree Name

Doctor of Social Work (DSW)

Type of Paper/Work

Banded Dissertation


Ande Nesmith


This dissertation examines the various perceptions of bullying and the need for a theory that is culturally sensitive and provides the victims with a voice. Bullying adds additional stressors to the lives of its victim, due to lack of research on bullying and its impact on African American males in secondary education, this dissertation primary focus is this population. Implications for a unified definition of bullying, training that is applicable across the cultural spectrum, and the need for continued research are emphasized.

The dissertation is composed of three phenomenological products that together examined the many diverse aspects of bullying. Using Critical Race Theory (CRT), this dissertation examined its applicability to bullying. Using qualitative, exploratory methods, this dissertation aimed to gain a better understanding of some of the perceptions held by middle school faculty members as it relates to bullying. The presentation shared the findings of the study with school faculty members at a national conference. The conceptual framework of this dissertation is CRT.

The dissertation explored the premise of CRT and its effective application to bullying. The author suggests that (CRT) should be used as the theoretical foundation for understanding bullying and devising a workable plan to decrease incidents of bullying. CRT affords a holistically look at bullying through a lens that is culturally sensitive and allows the victims to have a voice.

Identifying perceptions of bullying is vital to encouraging victims to come forth with the comfort of knowing they will be understood and something will be done. Understanding how faculty members perceive bullying may aid in creating trainings that will improve their understanding of bullying, especially with African American males. To accomplish this qualitative data was gathered through the use of one-on-one professional interviews to gain a baseline of school faculty member’s perception of bullying.

The qualitative data gathered from the professional interviews were then shared with other middle school faculty members at the National Conference on Bullying in Reno, Nevada in the form of a PowerPoint presentation. The study revealed that there is a distinct difference in the way that more seasoned school faculty and younger faculty members define bullying. There also exists an interpretation difference of incidents of bullying and when male versus female middles school faculty do intervene in incidents of bullying. All respondents indicated that there is a dire need for training and a unified definition of bullying.

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.