Date of Award

2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

First Advisor

Soulliere, Danielle

Keywords

Cultural Criminology, Cyberbullying, Media Analysis, Media Criminology, Subcultures, Youth

Rights

CC BY-NC ND 4.0

Abstract

Youth culture today is based on the number of ‘likes’, ‘shares’, ‘retweets’, and ‘followers’ a person has on various social media sites. Reliance on technological devices, Internet connections, and a cyber presence has produced a generation where traditional face-to-face bullying has become more complex. Using the theoretical framework of cultural criminology, this paper illustrates the cultural construction of cyberbullying as a phenomenon, which emerged from the broader youth culture’s reliance on ‘being connected’, and designs the subcultures within as working in a cyclical fashion with one another to define and understand cyberbullying. Subcultures are characteristics of the entire umbrella of cyberbullying and include the subculture of the cyberbully, the cyber victim, and the cyber bystander. Through qualitative methodologies, this study aims to examine the portrayal of these subcultures of cyberbullying within popular film by analyzing and comparing both media constructions and representations of cyberbullying in popular culture films as compared to the way documentary film depicts real cases of cyberbullying that capture the Canadian public’s attention. Findings indicate that popular film’s portrayal of cyberbullying aligns with the literature associated with the construction of the cycle of the subcultures; however, largely reflects a gap in relation to the function of law, policies, and procedures to adequately address problems of cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is becoming problematic in present day society due to the way it is impacting the lives of youth. This study is providing the basis for a new way of understanding such a phenomenon and its potential impact on the way individuals think and react to cyberbullying.

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