The culture of Hispanic female bullies: An exploration of retrospective narrative reports of their socially aggressive behaviors in secondary school
This qualitative interview study examined retrospective accounts of six Hispanic females between the age of 19 and 23 that attended school in a South Texas school district and who selfidentify as having bullied or committed social aggression regarding their the motivation and experiences. Six females participated in the interview study. Scholars in education, criminology, and psychology noted that the mean girl phenomenon of bullying and social aggression has been overwhelmingly perceived as a White upper-class problem (Chesney-Lind & Irwin, 2004, 2008; Gonick, 2004; Ringrose, 2006) because of this, my study sought to understand how Hispanic females who identified as bullies processed the cultural discourse of social aggression and bullying. The main goal throughout the course of the study was to explore the stories and experiences recollected from the participants past social aggressive experiences to understand the process of the mean girl phenomenon of bullying and social aggression (ChesneyLind & Irwin, 2004, 2008; Gonick, 2006; Ringrose, 2006). Because the majority of the research found on relational or social aggression pertained to white, middle to upper class females (Dellasega & Nixon, 2003), I purposely chose to explore the narratives of Hispanic females as relational or social aggressors, as South Texas is highly populated with Hispanic females and the university is considered a Hispanic Serving Institute. As reflected by the data shared by the participants, the problem of bullying and social aggression is not specific to class or race. Similar to the research conducted of white middle to upper class, the data suggested that the Hispanic female social aggressors that participated in my study were also trying to find ways to react and express aggressiveness without “breaking out of the expectant mold of passiveness and niceness” to outsiders (Dellasega & Nixon, 2003).