Bullying Immigrant versus Non-Immigrant Peers:
Moral Disengagement and Participant Roles in the two Contexts
Young people with migration experiences constitute an increasing number of students in many European schools. To foster social cohesion and to prevent potential intergroup tensions in schools, it is of high importance to better understand the complexities of bullying episodes in immigrant contexts. Bandura’s cognitive theory of moral agency (1999, 2002) offers a promising framework to study this topic.
Although most young people evaluate bullying and social exclusion of ethnic or national minority peers as wrong, self-justification processes might allow them to morally disengage and to perform a behaviour which is in contrast with their moral standards. Yet, no study to date investigated whether these self-justification processes differ in hypothetical bullying situations of a newcomer peer depending on his or her immigrant status.