CHAPTER 12 - CHAPTER TWELVE Emotion and Conflict Why It Is...

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Unformatted text preview: CHAPTER TWELVE Emotion and Conflict Why It Is Important to Understand How Emotions Affect Conflict and How Conflict Affects Emotions Evelin G. Lindner ; l( u li t! . 'l'l n. li III 1 "! ' i. r I'll i I ml- I'»l N "(Mill ii' 'M ill „ <i[li|||-Mil I'lll ".. »1 268 e have all experie nced strong emotio ns related to conflict . Our emotio ns affect the conflict s in our W lives and conflict , in turn, influen ces our emotio ns. This chapter begins with two brief exampl es, one internat ional and one persona l, to show the interaction between emotions and conflict. For the international example, let us look at World War II. Hitler was an isolated and alienated loner obsessed by the weakness of Germany during World War I and after. At some point, however, his obsessions began to resonate with the feelings of what was called in Germany "the little people" (die kleinen Leute, or the powerless). He offered a grand narrative of national humiliation and invited "the little people" to join in with the personal grievances they suffered due to the general political and economic misery. "The little people" occupied a distinctly subordinated position in Germany's social hierarchy prior to Hitler's rise. They rallied to Hitler's cause because he provided them with a sense of importance. He was greeted as a savior, as a new kind of leader promising them love and unprecedented significance instead of insignif- icance. Only after World War II did they have to painfully recognize how he had abused their loyalty. As soon as he had enough popular support, Hitler built institutions that forced his manipulation on everybody, evoking noble feelings of loyalty and heroic resistance against humiliation, convincing the German people that the Aryan race was meant to lead and save the world. Hitler was an expert on feelings. Many Germans put such faith in Hitler that they followed .nil EMOTION AND CONFLICT 269 him until 1945, even when it became clear that the situation was doomed. Intense loyalty and highly emotional participationin a collective obsession undercut even the most basic rational and ethical considerations. Now to a personal example: Envision yourself as a therapist with a client named Eve who came to you because she was depressed. She is severely and regularly beaten by her husband, Adam. Neighbors describe scenes of shouting and crying and the bruise marks on Eve's body are only too obvious. You are afraid Eve may not survive and you visit her as frequently as your schedule per- mits. You try to convince her to protect herself by leaving her unsafe home to seek refuge in sheltered housing, at least at times of crisis. In your mind, you define her as a victim and her husband as a perpetrator. You explain to Eve that "domestic chastisement" has long been outlawed. You suggest that Adam utterly humiliates her and that she ought to develop a "healthy" anger as a first step toward collecting sufficient strength to change her life. To you, this situation clearly represents a destructive conflict loaded with hot and violent emotion...
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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 University .

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CHAPTER 12 - CHAPTER TWELVE Emotion and Conflict Why It Is...

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