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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Conference on Workplace Mobbing to convene in July, aims to establish mobbing as discrete field of study

PLEASE JOIN US IN NIAGARA IN JULY,
AND SPREAD THE WORD TO YOUR NETWORKS!

A Conference on Workplace Mobbing will convene July 22-24, 2024, at Niagara University in Niagara, New York, and registration is now open for participation and presentation proposals, in-person and hybrid.

The conference is sponsored by Niagara University and co-sponsored by the Society of Socio-Economists. Additional sponsorships are invited; please contact conference registrar Qingli Meng, in criminology at Niagara University, via the conference website.

Mobbing is a form of group abuse of an individual and has been documented in studies in sociology and related fields for almost half a century. Mobbing is associated particularly with workplaces, where persons act in concert to effect a victim's alienation and exclusion from the community.

Workplace mobbing is especially prevalent in academic institutions. A sociologist and expert on mobbing, Professor Kenneth Westhues has studied the phenomenon and why the academic work environment is especially fertile soil for mobbing behavior. Westhues maintains the website, Workplace Mobbing in Academe.

While forms of interpersonal abuse such as harassment and bullying have found traction in law and become recognized in popular culture as wrongful, mobbing has not yet come fully into its own. Mobbing behaviors are complex, involving multiple perpetrators with variable states of culpability, so mobbing is not always as readily recognizable as a more abrupt infliction, such as bullying. Like harassment and bullying victims, especially before the wrongfulness of those acts were widely acknowledged, mobbing victims tend to self-blame and self-exclusion, so might not bring mobbing behaviors to light.

A purpose of the planned conference, therefore, is to disentangle mobbing from adjacent behaviors, such as bullying, harassment, and ostracism. By recognizing mobbing as a discrete phenomenon and focusing study on mobbing as a cross-cutting scholarly sub-field, fields such as psychology, economics, organizational management, employment law, and criminal law can recognize and respond to the problem of mobbing more effectively, bringing relief to victims and preventing victimization to begin with.

A welcome and invitation at the Conference on Workplace Mobbing website explains the conference mission better than I have here, as resources available through Westhues's website well explain mobbing and its defining characteristics.

I am chairing the Scientific Committee of the Conference on Workplace Mobbing. The interdisciplinary committee also comprises Dr. Meng; Dr. Westhues; Robert Ashford, in law at Syracuse University; Walter S. DeKeseredy, in criminology at West Virginia University; Joseph Donnermeyer, in criminology at Ohio State University; and Tim Ireland, provost at Niagara University.

The conference is grateful for technical and logistical support from Niagara University's Yonghong Tong, PhD; Michael Jeswald, MBA; Valerie Devine, assistant director of support and web development; Michael Ebbole, audio visual systems coordinator; William Stott, audio visual systems specialist; and Chang Huh, PhD.

The Conference on Workplace Mobbing is a project of Conference on Workplace Mobbing Ltd., a New York nonprofit organization.

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