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Culture represents more than the language, food, customs, and dressing of a particular people. Cultural groups share either race, ethnicity, or nationality. Cultural groups can also be identified by socioeconomic classes, politics, gender, language, sexual orientation, and religious affiliation. Culture is an important aspect of conflict and conflict resolution. Cultural conflict mostly occurs in situations where the beliefs and one’s traditions present challenges to another party. Bias from a different view from our own can infuse and connect different emotions from a person who therefore uses a higher cognitive function in making decisions. According to LeBaron and Pillay (2006), cultures are always changing, and they relate to the symbolic dimension of life. Human beings are constantly trying to find their identity. The cultural affiliation of individuals enacts what is essential in their life at a particular time and what they are in the world. Culture identifies people and who they are in relation to others in the world. Culture thus directs how people think about things around them. Similarly, the aspects of thinking and speaking that usually cause violence are learned through culture (Hart & Hodson, 2008). Human behavior is rooted in the idea that people are on a journey to attain common needs. The human needs are not necessarily in conflict, but conflict mostly surfaces from the clash of ideas about satisfying the needs (Hart & Hodson, 2008). Conflict arises if the strategies employed clash. In order to resolve conflicts, it is important for people to identifying their needs and those of others. Conflict resolution encompasses different methods and strategies that contribute to solutions to conflicts.[“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]

Lessons on Culture
LeBaron and Pillay (2006) tackle the issue of culture and how it influences conflict and conflict resolution. Apparently, culture is multilayered and hence writing about culture is complicated LeBaron and Pillay (2006). Culture is dynamic, and its premise keeps shifting. People belong to different and multiple cultures based on the various aspects such as political stands, religion, and ethnicity. Culture gives people expectations and reasoning. Common sense, which is as a result of expectations and logic, is often quoted as a reason for conflict (LeBaron & Pillay, 2006). People mistake differences in common sense as a reason to disagree with each other, which is unfair in the sense that common sense is not common in different cultural backgrounds. According to LeBaron and Pillay (2006), what may be common to a set of people might be wrong and strange to the other. Cultural settings create different messages about the relationships between individuals. These messages set a premise of how we deal with conflict.

Diversification of Culture
Culture is a diverse subject when it comes to studying conflict and how to create harmony after a conflict. In today’s global work environment, it’s inevitable to have different personnel from different cultural backgrounds in an organization. Both scientific studies and common sense assert that having people who come from diverse backgrounds and possess different viewpoints intensify creativity in solving issues. It is, therefore, essential to understanding the culture and its standing in conflict and the implications on cultural dimensions. In their text, culture and conflict are of different dimensions (LeBaron & Pillay, 2006).
Culture Is Constantly in Flux
According to LeBaron and Pillay (2006), culture is dynamic and unpredictable most of the times. In order to study a particular group of people, one should take into account individual differences, context, and timing.

Culture is Elastic
LeBaron and Pillay (2006) further note that the identification of the norms and behaviors of a set of people does not necessarily tell the story about particular people in that group. For example, the latest craze of different people linking mass murders and gun violence to terrorism is not entirely accurate or fair.

Culture Is Multi-Layered
Cultural generalizations do not come close to what is in most cases. One of the generalizations that assumed by most students in different colleges is that all the international students from Africa come from abject poverty.

From the context of understanding culture, it is only right to state that culture is a significant factor in conflict. Cultural affiliation is embedded in conflict since conflict arises from human relationships (LeBaron & Pillay, 2006). Conflict can be thought as a process where there is crushing between the old and the new. Since culture touches on human identity, conflict will only happen in the foundation of an attack on what people hold dear and what makes meaning to their identity. For women, conflict has not been easy to identify for a long time. This is because there has been a structure set up so to maintain status quo. As Crum (1998) writes, this structure where women are suppressed was nonexistence since they were not self-aware. [Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]

Conflict arose from prolonged male dominated systems. The historical and social fabric created a sense of injustice in different style and degree in regards to the different cultures. The resolution to this has been the liberation, self-consciousness, accountability, and rejection of violence. The rebellion against the historical male dominated structure is not just about resistance or rejection of violence; it is about legitimization, acknowledgment of the woman, as well as representation at the table.

In different environments such as marriages, conflict arises due to gender culture while in parenting, it is the middle-aged children clashing with their parents due to generational culture. Also, in the family environment, children who are exposed to conflict between parents may develop negative attitudes towards marriage.

The free movement of labor in the now dynamic world has made it possible for different organizations to have various personnel working in various cultural grounds. International organizations have a pool of workforce from different cultures and nationalities. The best approach to counter cultural factors since they are central to conflict and conflict resolution involves familiarizing oneself with various cultures (Alson & Burnett, 2003). Familiarization will require creating awareness to various people in the society. Communication is a fundamental factor in awareness. Communication should emphasize on direct conveyance as well as the context of a message. Violent communication can be a useful tool in solving various conflicts arising from culture. Nonviolent commutation is a tool that was developed by Marshall Rosenberg. Rosenberg (2003) offers insightful aptitudes with a powerful delivery to assist everyone obtain what they want without violence. Apparently, nonviolent communication is founded on the principle that every individual has a thread of compassion (Rosenberg, 2003). Communication is an appropriate approach in mitigating conflict as it focuses on three aspects: self-empathy – awareness of one’s deep compassion; empathy – understanding emotions by others and sharing in them; honest self-expression – authentic expression of self-inspiring empathy by others (Rosenberg, 2003).

Cultural conflict is the general pattern of groups of people that occur when ideas clash. Turner (2007) defines cultural conflict as differences caused by cultural values and beliefs that put people at odds with each other. Conflict mostly arises when a person’s expectations are not met.

Successful mediation between conflicting groups of people requires that the mediators sufficiently understand the conflict. Mediation process should take into account the history and nature of conflict and the background to the stakeholders of a conflict (Beer, Packard, & Stief, 2013). There are lessons that humans can draw from studying culture, conflict, and conflict resolution. Of utmost important is how to deal with future conflicts.[Click Essay Writer to order your essay]

Conflict permeates every fiber of human existence. It often takes the shape of violence if not addressed creatively and constructively. As Crum (1998) writes, conflict typically has negative connotations in the society. Cultural conflict has been used to explain violence and crime, which has encouraged various theorists to come up with conflict theories.

Conflict theory focuses on the power of differentials between different groups of people (Crum, 1998). Conflict generates from people pursuing self-interest. According to Crum (1998), businesses that are only interested in achieving maximum profitization might be ignorant about the plight of its employees. Such a case would thus create a conflict between the organization’s management and its personnel. Through conflict theory, people learn the basis of organization’s conflict studies. In his text, Crum (1998) asserts that people impose the framework of contest where there must be winners and losers. Crum’s advice and approach through this book is that humans should view conflict as a chance to grow and change. The most important lessons being that individuals can cohabit peacefully by realizing the magic in conflict. Crum (1998) further encourages people to be calm when a problem arises.


Crum’s approach is more practical in an organizational environment. If an organization’s personnel develop the skills tackled in the magic of conflict, conflict becomes a thing of the past, consequently making it a better environment which oozes with creativity and flowing communication. Mind and body training, coupled with transforming stress approaches, assist people to experience an increased awareness and calmness, thus providing one with tranquility (Crum, 1998). In such cases, people evade conflict since they are better placed to take informed actions that do not involve violence.

The best way to achieve goals is for employees to do their job and offer assistance where necessary. People who come from different backgrounds are usually working in the same organization by seeking to achieve excellent results. In Crum’s approach, he encourages empowerment or what he calls the energy development (1998). When included in an organization’s program, this technique empowers the workforce to expand their individual and team effectiveness. It also assists the workforce to respond appropriately to conflict. Conversely, the discovery model helps the workforce discover teamwork through new learning experiences (Crum, 1998). This tool is basically the reason why workers in organizations that have been introduced to Crum’s approach of the magic of conflict are better in conflict mitigation.

In the overall sense, the discovery model helps people to identify compelling factors that cause conflict. The discovery model enables individuals to see that conflict occurs because most of the times people want to be right, they consider their way to be best and, and they do not appreciate the difference in opinion (Crum, 1998). In formulating approaches based on Crum’s text, it is possible to conclude that disagreements over opinion are a significant factor arising in conflict. As such, people can resolve conflicts if they if understand that creating territories can be done peacefully. A difference in opinion does not necessarily mean that the other person has bad intentions. Individuals can resolve clashing values if they take the time to listen to the context of each other (Crum, 1998). Power battles are a complex tiff which can be solved using Crum’s technique of mapping. According to Crum (1998), mapping is the process of resolving complex conflicts that involve multiple parties. The process includes allowing the representation of all sides by legitimizing their claims. The move is important as it seeks to establish common ground for resolution.

Conflict Resolution
Conflict resolution otherwise known as reconciliation is a method used in ending a conflict peacefully. The quest for peace among human beings in different aspects has led to the growth of numerous theories and techniques in reconciliation. Conflict resolution ends in retribution (Mayer, 2012). Conflict resolution involves the use of nonviolent communication by the conflicting parties in an attempt to promote the most efficient resolution. Disputing parties employ effective communication tools to discuss their point of view and reason in a bid to engage in negotiation. As a conflict resolution strategy, negotiation is supported by the Roger Fisher and William Ury theory of principled negation (Crum, 1998). This model asserts that people should be separated from their problem. They also support the fact that focus should be on interest rather than on position. Fisher and Ury explain that people of opposing sides should have different options before settling on a course of action. They further mention that agreements should be on the premise of objectivity (Crum, 1998).

Crum’s approach suggests a conflict resolution checklist. According to Crum (1998), an effective action plan enables different parties to resolve disagreements in a meaningful manner. This method ensures that different relationships are strengthened over time.

In the text Peace in Everyday Relationships: Resolving Conflicts in Your Personal and Work Life, Alson and Burnett (2003) discuss how a person can negotiate a conflict effectively. Using the simple day to day examples, Alson and Burnett (2003) provide a guide on how to negotiate out of a sticky situation. In the same text, the two authors handle a major context of dealing with difficult people. Disputing parties sometimes might not be reasoning logically, hence the need to understand the view of the conflict. The emotional energy of the various parties can hinder cognitive resolution at best. Alson and Burnett (2003) further draw on knowledge from different displaces ranging from psychology to spirituality, negation, and law to discuss the various dispute resolution techniques available to people. Dispute resolution is referred to as the method used where litigation processes are involved (Alson & Burnett, 2003).

Conflict resolution in culturally charged fronts encompasses the use of communication among different groups of people to solve problems. In this situations, the involved parties look for results whereby all parties find mutually benefitting long-term solutions. As LeBaron and Pillay (2006) discuss, approaches used to make meaning of different factors vary across cultures. When people fail to understand each other, it is hard to see their point of view. In this scenario, conflict is likely to escalate. In order to understand how humans perceive things, it is imperative to discover each other’s culture and use it as point of reference.

Alson, S., & Burnett, G. (2003). Peace in everyday relationships: Resolving conflicts in your personal and work life. Alameda CA: Hunter House.

Beer, J. E., Packard, C. C., & Stief, E. (2013). The mediator’s handbook (4th ed.). Gabriola, British Island: New Society Publishers.
Crum, T. F. (1998). The magic of conflict: Turning a life of work into a work of art. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.

Hart, S., & Kindle Hodson, V. K. (2008). The no-fault classroom: Tools to resolve conflict & foster relationship intelligence. Encinitas, CA: PuddleDancer Press.

LeBaron, M., & Pillay, V. (2006). Conflict across cultures: A unique experience of bridging differences. Boston, MA: Intercultural Press.

Mayer, B. S. (2012). The dynamics of conflict: A guide to engagement and intervention (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Rosenberg, M. B. (2003). Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life: Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships (2nd ed.). Encinitas, CA: PuddleDancer Press.

Alson, S., & Burnett, G. (2003). Peace in everyday relationships: Resolving conflicts in your personal and work life. Alameda CA: Hunter House.

Beer, J. E., Packard, C. C., & Stief, E. (2013). The mediator’s handbook (4th ed.). Gabriola, British Island: New Society Publishers.

Crum, T. F. (1998). The magic of conflict: Turning a life of work into a work of art. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.

Hart, S., & Kindle Hodson, V. K. (2008). The no-fault classroom: Tools to resolve conflict & foster relationship intelligence. Encinitas, CA: PuddleDancer Press.

LeBaron, M., & Pillay, V. (2006). Conflict across cultures: A unique experience of bridging differences. Boston, MA: Intercultural Press.

Turner, J. (2007). Human emotions: A sociological theory. London, England: Routledge.

Rosenberg, M. B. (2003). Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life: Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships (2nd ed.). Encinitas, CA: PuddleDancer Press.

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By Hanna Robinson

Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.

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