Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Be Above The Mob

I recently realized that I didn't know the difference between the words: scapegoat and sacrificial lamb, so I did some investigation.

The main differences are that while the scapegoat is just punished, the sacrificial lamb is actually killed. Also, the scapegoat is often used to deflect blame by the actual wrong doer, while the lamb is usually chosen by all involved.

But in both cases, the parties involved have transferred their own insecurities, issues or sins onto the scapegoat or sacrificial lamb hoping that this will erase the problems. But of course, it never does. So the parties must find another scapegoat or lamb and then another...

This investigation also uncovered a word I was not familiar with: mobbing. Essentially it is bullying done by adults.

In the book MOBBING: Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace, the authors identify mobbing as a particular type of bullying that is not as apparent as most, defining it as " emotional assault. It begins when an individual becomes the target of disrespectful and harmful behavior. Through innuendo, rumors, and public discrediting, a hostile environment is created in which one individual gathers others to willingly, or unwillingly, participate in continuous malevolent actions to force a person out of the workplace."[7]

The authors say that mobbing is typically found in work environments that have poorly organised production and/or working methods and incapable or inattentive management and that mobbing victims are usually "exceptional individuals who demonstrated intelligence, competence, creativity, integrity, accomplishment and dedication".[7]

I am always fascinated with how people interact with each other, so I look forward to learning more about mobbing.
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