The article discusses bullying as a socially enacted phenomenon and suggests approaching basic bullying mechanisms by combining the concepts of longing for belonging and social exclusion anxiety. At the outset we briefly revisit survey results suggesting bullying practices as a distinct phenomenon. We move on to discuss the current historical push towards an individualization of social phenomena. While introducing a case from a school class saturated with processes of bullying and marginalization, we present an alternative analytical approach emphasizing the social dynamics entailed. The case illustrates how longing for belonging and social exclusion anxiety continuously integrate and work in the enactment of hierarchies and building of communities among the students.

Keywords: Bullying, school, longing for belonging, social exclusion anxiety, child community