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We're All Friends Here: A Case Study of Ijime in The Queen's Classroom

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Title: We're All Friends Here: A Case Study of Ijime in The Queen's Classroom
Author: Nguyen, Van
Advisor: Glassman, Hank
Department: Bi-College (Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges). Dept. of East Asian Studies
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Issue Date: 2010
Abstract: Japanese schools struggle with ijime (bullying) as its various forms are difficult to diagnose and subsequently address. The primary reason as to why it is so difficult is because ijime is often hidden under the guise of typical social interactions between students. This phenomenon occurs to the extent that the victim is often led to believe that the situation is one that cannot be corrected even with the help of adults. Hence, the outward appearance of friendship amongst the students of a classroom may hide the sufferings of those who are victims of ijime. This thesis presents the subject of dime by analyzing the issue through the lens of a contemporary Japanese drama (Jyoou no Kyoushitsu — The Queen's Classroom). By utilizing educational studies sources to support my analyses, I interpret the social interaction between the characters in order understand how this television drama series presents its social commentary on ijime. I first trace the meaning of ijime in order to create a solid foundation to build my subsequent analyses of the source materials. Different components of the social issue have roots in three separate groups that all interact with each other on some level: the students, educators, and parents. In this drama series, Akutsu-sensei, through her extreme educational philosophy and teaching methods, teachers everyone involved with her class to become better people by overcoming their various hardships rather than place their hopes in ignorance. As a valuable source of social commentary that created some controversy to the Japanese audience during its season on the air, The Queen's Classroom opens up the possibility for future media to provide awareness of other social issues that may be analyzed beyond the surface level of an entertainment piece.
Subject: Bullying in schools -- Japan
Subject: Queen's classroom (Japanese television series)
Access Restrictions: Open Access
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Nguyen, Van. "We're All Friends Here: A Case Study of Ijime in The Queen's Classroom". 2010. Available electronically from

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