Conflict - I/C CONFLICT 1 Intercultural Conflict Terrance...

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I/C CONFLICT 1 Intercultural Conflict Terrance McKnight Teachers College – Columbia University December 20, 2010
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I/C CONFLICT 2 Intercultural Conflict I used to think that I hated conflict. After all, who wants to be associated with welcoming confrontation? I was a self-proclaimed “lover, not a fighter.” In fact, I have never been in a fistfight in my life. When I used to think of conflict, I thought of wars, win-lose situations and the like; basically, anything where direct competition is involved. I had never thought that conflict could be a collaborative process or a situation where win-win goals could be achieved. Even negotiations were viewed negatively by me. Thus, I always sought to avoid conflict, or what I had defined it as. Conversely, I have always been competitive. However, I did not view competition as conflict, because it was usually under the guise of a game, such as sports or video games. Though competition can often be emotionally charged, I never viewed it as conflict due to the fact that no one was ever intentionally hurt physically or emotionally by it. The same goes for what I consider to be “healthy debate”, such as the stereotypical talks by the water cooler or in the barber shop; I see no harm at all in arguing about who is the greatest boxer of all time or why interracial dating should be embraced more in the United States. These types of discussions (in addition to intellectual or religious debates) have shaped my outlook on conflicts more than I could have imagined. Taking this course has changed my view on conflict altogether. I never realized before how my viewpoint on conflict has been molded by living in an individualistic society, but growing up in a collectivistic home. I also never noticed that my conflict style could differ from
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This note was uploaded on 06/01/2011 for the course ORL 1000 taught by Professor Buontempo during the Spring '11 term at Columbia.

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Conflict - I/C CONFLICT 1 Intercultural Conflict Terrance...

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