INTERPRETATIONS OF BULLYING: HOW STUDENTS, TEACHERS, AND PRINCIPALS PERCEIVE NEGATIVE PEER INTERACTIONS IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
iii © 2009 Brent Harger ALL RIGHTS RESERVED iv ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS At one point or another, everybody named here has helped with the completion of this project, whether through feedback on proposals or drafts or by providing me with social support, but I want to start by thanking those who cannot be named. The students, teachers, and staff members at both Greenfield and Hillside Elementary Schools welcomed me into their lives and made the process of returning to fifth grade as a researcher as
... researcher as smooth as possible. I want to thank the students in particular for letting me into their social worlds and helping me figure out what to look for. Of those who can be named, this project has had the most direct impact on my wife, Billie, who met me before I started graduate school and is still with me at the end. Along the way she has moved from Michigan to Indiana, agreed to marry me, encouraged the quick completion of my dissertation, regretted encouraging the quick completion of my dissertation, and agreed to move from Indiana to Pennsylvania. The sacrifices she has made for my success cannot be overstated. Knowing that she will be with me as the next stage of our lives begins makes the transition much less daunting. Other than Billie, my dissertation committee has had the largest impact on my ability to complete this research in a timely fashion. As a graduate student I have been fortunate to witness Tim Hallett's growth from a first-semester Assistant Professor to a key member of the department. Tim was instrumental in encouraging my work during my first years and has not let up since. Although he has already helped many students in his time here and will undoubtedly help many more, I am glad that I was among the first. Like Tim, v Bill Corsaro has made it possible for me to succeed throughout my graduate career. Bill is the only person who has played a role in the completion of every major milestone in this career-master's thesis, qualifying exam, and dissertation-and his knowledge and experience have been incredibly helpful. Outside of the sociology department, Bradley Levinson provided an anthropological perspective on the study of young people and often did so from Mexico, where he has been involved with his own research. While each of these professors has had an important impact on my time in graduate school, for the past two and a half years nobody has had a larger impact than the chair of my dissertation committee, Donna Eder. When I met with Donna after completing my qualifying exam in the summer of 2007, and told her that I wanted to go on the job market in the fall of 2008, she helped me create a research plan that, if all went well, would make that goal possible. Since then she has given advice and feedback on data collection, supported my search for transcription funding, and helped me climb out of the fog of dissertation writing in order to see my results, and their implications, more clearly.