Augsburger’s (1992) “Conflict Mediation Across Cultures” and Moore and Woodrow’s (2004) article, “Mapping Cultures: Strategies for Effective Intercultural Negotiations,” are very handy, relevant and important in that they not only lay out the theoretical principles underlying culture, they also outline practical ideas for resolving and mediating culture-based conflicts.These theories, and conflict resolution approaches to culture-based conflicts, will be carefully analyzed in the next section of this essay.In doing so, the essay seeks to explore the answers to the following four questions: What is the place of culture in conflict and conflict resolution?
This is because, many conflicts begin with a feeling of misunderstanding.
Although these texts on the hermeneutics of cultural symbols and elements provide theoretical framework to understanding culture and conflict, they fall short of practical steps to resolving culture-based conflicts.
This essay, however, does not seek to repeat the above-mentioned aspects of our class presentation , that is, word for word.
Instead, the goal of the essay is to critically and deeply reflect on and analyze the most relevant themes, insights and questions that emerged from the readings and class discussions, and to reexamine one of the real-life conflict situations that was discussed during the presentation.
During my studies in philosophy, unlike most of my colleagues, I debuted a critical analysis of “hermeneutics and interpretation of symbols in Igbo culture” (Ugorji, 2005) through the lenses of Paul Ricoeur’s theory of hermeneutics.
This study was conducted in the southeastern part of Nigeria where the Igbo people are located.These factors will be examined in the subsequent sections of this essay.The underlying question that stands out for me is: how can conflicts that are due to cultural misunderstandings be resolved?However, there is a third dimension: the individual culture of Okonkwo, a powerful man who was in conflict with his own cultural group because of differences in viewpoints between him and the entire group.This factor raises a red flag on Augsburger’s (1992) binary generalization and categorization of cultures in different regions of the world.Finally, the essay concludes with a critical evaluation and a reflection on the lessons that conflict interveners could learn to enhance their intercultural competencies and communication.The understanding of culture and the role it plays in conflict and conflict resolution are the main preoccupations of Augsburger’s (1992) book, “Conflict Mediation across Cultures, as well as Moore and Woodrow’s (2004) article, “Mapping Cultures: Strategies for Effective Intercultural Negotiations.” Personally, and most importantly, the understanding of culture and its relationship with identity, conflict, and conflict resolution are also at the heart and soul of my conflict analysis and resolution studies.At that time, I was fascinated by Ricoeur’s philosophical writings on the science and art of interpretation and understanding of cultural elements, particularly cultural symbols.For this reason, I became his ardent and staunch disciple.By Basil Ugorji Copyright © 2016 International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation All rights reserved.(November 29, 2016)Download Culture and Conflict Resolution: When a Low-context Culture and a High-context Culture Collide, What Happens? The goal of this essay is to critically and deeply reflect on the most important themes, insights and questions on approaches to culture, conflict and conflict resolution.To achieve this goal, the essay explores answers to four relevant questions: What is the place of culture in conflict and conflict resolution?