Here’s a quick recap of what we covered on Tuesday.
We agreed that conflict is a disagreement, a clash or a difference of opinion between two or more parties.
We also agreed that most conflicts can be resolved if all parties are willing to reach a resolution.
Some key words we threw around related to conflict resolution were
Types of Conflict
There are three main types of conflict.
Intrapersonal: This is relating to oneself. It means an inner conflict and the person is required to make a decision. Inner conflict is important as it can help people grow and learn more about who they are.
Interpersonal: This is conflict relating to other people. It can be with friends, your family or two different groups.
Extra-personal: This is conflict relating to our surrounds and society. It may involve the environments we exist in or the institutions we are part of.
These three terms are our umbrella headings under which we can group the following conflicts based on the context of the scenario.
Religious: Religious conflict is regarding conflicts surrounding faith.
The article from last week’s post is a good example of religious conflict.
This type of conflict can be further broken down to
Extra-personal: when people from other faiths are discriminated against. For example: various Holy wars throughout history.
Personal: When a person questions their own faith.
Faith becomes central to a person’s sense of self and wellbeing. Therefore, if an person’s religion or faith is attacked they may perceive the attack to be on them as an individual.
As a result, religious conflict is one of the hardest conflicts to resolve as it is so deeply rooted in who we are and the importance it has in our lives.
Political: This type of conflict involves governmental powers. This conflict can deal with the use of military power enforced by the government against its own people, therefore creating civil unrest and resentment.
Discrimination by the majority (most governments represent a majority. Think of our political system and how the majority vote is elected prime minister) against a minority which demonstrates an abuse of governmental power.
Economic factors are also considered political conflict in terms of trades between different countries and political structures. Think of the cold war and the embargoes placed by the US on Cuba.
From this we can see that political conflict can occur within a country (civil war), between two countries or even between a group of countries (WWII, the Allies vs Axis).
Cultural: Last week we defined culture as a group’s set of shared values, beliefs and ideologies that inform their attitudes, perceptions and behaviours.
We said that culture was the most pervasive aspect of our lives, it is part of our identity. We act in accordance to our culture without even knowing it.
We also agreed that cultural conflict is strongly tied to religion and political conflict. This is because both religion and the political structure we have grown up in add to our sense of culture. Since our culture informs all we do we, our perception and stance during a conflict is usually informed by our cultural beliefs.
Cultural conflict can be seen in the following contexts:
Generationally: Often grandparents, parents and children have different cultures to each other and from this rises conflict.
Racism: Racism can result due a lack of understanding of a another person’s culture.
As cultural conflict is a founded on an intolerance or ignorance of the other, the only way in which it can be resolved is with an openness to understanding and acceptance.
Social: Is a clash between opposing powers in a particular society.
Different values are upheld by different social groups and their agreement or disagreement with the social authority.
Social class and social status can strongly impact the social conflict a person experiences within their society. Individuals who feel they are of a lower class due to systematic reasons may rebel or retaliate against the social forces that hold them there (think of the London riots).
Compromise is necessary to resolve social conflict, however threats may be used to manipulate an outcome to favour one side.
We noticed that often in one scenario we can identify more than one type of conflict. This tells us that these different kinds of conflicts are often interrelated in a situation (think back to the videos we watched in class).
Keep this information in mind as we read Life of Galileo to help you generate a strong understanding of conflict in context.