The Clash of Worldviews Intractable Issues

Chapter 13: Managing Social Conflict

The Clash of Worldviews: Intractable Issues

  • Intractable Issues
    • Cannot be resolved by communication and negotiation techniques alone because they involve different and conflicting values, beliefs, and rituals
    • Most difficult to resolve
    • Referred to as social conflict, societal conflicts, and moral conflicts
    • Fueled by distrust and dislike of other groups
    • Difficult to bring to a resolution
    • Issue lies at the core of our worldviews
    • Who is right/who is wrong
    • Exist because men and women see the world differently as do republicans and democrats, etc.
    • Clash of social/cultural, religious, political, and economic philosophies
  • Worldviews
    • The way that one interprets the world based on how they were socialized at home, their place of worship, and school
    • Composite of the cultural values, beliefs, and rituals you hold which assists you in describing what you see and prescribing what you should do
    • Values- What we hold dear ranging from something economic value, to sentimental value, to something we might die for (freedom, opportunity)
      • Personal, organizational, cultural
      • Professional organization articulates sets of values
    • Ethics- Moral view, which defines what we believe and think is good and evil, right and wrong, etc.
    • Beliefs- May be true or not true, and related to knowledge
      • Some beliefs are difficult to prove
    • Rituals- Symbolic actions that reinforce beliefs and values
      • Tied into our customs and traditions
    • Problems
      • We do have a worldview but don’t know how to describe it
      • One’s worldview may be problematic
    • Importance of Worldviews
      • Drive our behavior
      • Underlie issues and drive them by binding participants to seeing the world in an alternative way

When Worldviews Clash: Conflicts between you and the “other”

  • The other= Generic term used to signify members of the out-group (do not have the same worldviews as in-groups)
  • Moral issue= Conflicts of opposing views. Moral conflicts take on a pattern that is something other than what any participants wanted or expected
  • Intractable issues= Not easily controlled or directed.Fueled by variables in the context surrounding them
    • Involve intangibles such as identity, sovereignty, or values, rituals, and beliefs
    • Take place over a long period of time
    • Involve polarized perceptions of hostility and enmity, and behavior that is violent and destructive
  • Group Based Hatred= Based on prejudice against the group and oriented toward a particular goal; those who hold it want to hurt, relocate, or eliminate the out-group
    • Fuels the notion that an in-group is right, good, and the out-group is bad, wrong, and evil

Critical Theory

  • Complex approach to understanding situations
  • Analyzes power relations between participants in effort to uncover oppression, exploitation, and injustice
  • Changing situations that cause people to live in dehumanizing ways
  • Sensitive to mistreatment, oppression, and suffering of the less fortunate

Ripeness Theory

  • Means of accounting for and addressing intractable issues
  • Focuses on ripeness (A condition that is linked to one side’s decision to negotiate with the other in a conflict)
  • When conflict participants realize that the path they are following produces pain, they begin to seek ways to reduce that pain
  • Ripeness occurs when participants in a conflict realize they are involved in a mutually hurting statement

Ripeness is based on two core motives: Pain and opportunities to escape from pain

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