The purpose of this research was to study the influence of strong and weak social network ties on the phenomenon of bullying by examining the social ties leading to, or preventing bullying. Social ties were examined in relation to bullying, to establish the risk and protective factors associated with the structures of existing social networks. The study answered the research question: How does the strength of social ties relate to the phenomenon of bullying experienced by Grade 4 learners in a school environment? The secondary research questions addressed by the study were: What types of social ties are prevalent in bullies' and victims' networks? How do social ties act as protective factors when regarding bullying for the Grade 4 victims and bullies? How do social ties act as risk factors when regarding bullying for the Grade 4 victims and bullies? Social capital theory formed the basis of the theoretical framework. This study made use of an interpretivist paradigm, and employed a qualitative approach. This study was conducted using an exploratory, embedded case study design. One-on-one, semi-structured interviews, observations and reflexive journal were used to gather data. The data was analysed using thematic content analysis. Bullies were found to have more weak network ties than victims. Weak ties are largely necessary for the exchange of resources across networks, leading to greater diversity and variety of information, thus increasing access to social capital. Future research recommendations included a mixed-methods study, as well as an examination of the longevity of bullying and social network status. Recommendations included interventions aimed at reducing the incidences of bullying through addressing unrealised assets within social networks, and the wider social context, alongside teacher training.