CHAPTER 8 - in >! "i I 176 CHAPTER...

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Unformatted text preview: in >! "i I 176 CHAPTER EIGHT Intergro up Conflict Ronald J. Fisher ntergroup conflict is expressed in many forms and in many different settings in all societies. In organizations, poorly managed differences between departments or between factions within the same unit can dampen morale, create animosity, and reduce I motivat ion and product ivity. In commu nity settings , schisms betwee n interest groups on importa nt social issues can lead to polar- ization and hostility , while low- intensit y conflict between ethnic, racial, or reli- gious groups finds expressi on in prejudic e, discrimi nation, and social activis m to reduce inequity . At the societal level, high- intensit y conflict betwee n such identity groups on a broader scale can break out into ethnopo litical warfare , which engages the internat ional commu nity as well as local actors. At all levels of human interact ion, poorly handled conflict betwee n authorit ies and constitu ents or betwee n majorities and minorities can lead to frustration and alienation on both sides. In fact, wherever important differences exist between groups, there is the potential for destructive intergroup conflict. It is important to note that destructive intergroup conflict is only one major form of relationship in the wider domain of intergroup relations, that is, inter- actions among individuals that occur in terms of their group identifications. The discipline of intergroup relations is concerned with all manner of relationships among groups, including cooperative interactions and competitive ones, as well as constructive intergroup conflict. In most ongoing intergroup relationships in all manner of settings, cooperative relations exist and conflict is handled in a more or less constructive manner to the satisfaction of the parties involved. ' However, w the par** nisticw ays that s** co system, esp ; to undersu which is th From th flict is not ; n real diff* important tic source; ways that [unction vnthin g ferences \ make the to them td died cons] social eh; Althovj focus on applicab organixa ther ana of intera| handlin that are] be intei to have] will be further Wh: intergr ogy* a grate i cognil and i grout ruana untei vers! 1NTERGR0UP CONFLICT 177 However, when this does not occur around incompatible goals or activities, and the parties work to control or frustrate each other in adversarial and antagonistic ways, the scene is set for destructive intergroup conflict to occur. Given that such conflicts can be very costly to the parties involved as well as the wider system, especially at.the intercommunal and international levels, it is essential to understand them and to look for ways of managing and resolving them, which is the focus of the current chapter....
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This note was uploaded on 01/26/2012 for the course COMM 150 taught by Professor Soper during the Spring '08 term at Campbell.

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CHAPTER 8 - in >! "i I 176 CHAPTER...

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