Conflict and Culture: A Literature Review and Bibliography, 1992-98 update




LeBaron, Michelle
Garon, Stephen

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School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution


“The 1992 publication, Conflict and Culture: A Literature Review and Bibliography by Michelle LeBaron begins with the premise that the goals of conflict resolution are complementary to those of multiculturalism. It further posits that conflict resolution is a tool to achieve multiculturalism, which is defined as valuing the existence, maintenance and extension of individual cultures. A true multicultural society, it claims, is one in which equal participation is unfettered by race, ethnicity, gender, or class. LeBaron further proposes that if conflict resolution is to fulfill its promise vis-a-vis multiculturalism and facilitate successful intergroup relations, the conflict resolution community must engage in critical self reflection and examine its theoretical underpinnings for cultural biases. In particular, it contends that any process for effective multicultural conflict resolution must address cultural diversity, culture-influenced perceptions, and the issue of power. In addition to making these claims, the literature review addresses several related themes. For example, it deals with the ubiquity of the mediation model and the numerous culture-bound assumptions which undergird it. Recognizing the rapid changes in ethnic diversity and the growth of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), it asserts the need for both formal and informal conflict resolution systems to respond to cultural concerns. It also explores some of the characteristics of effective service providers in cross-cultural settings, and raises the implications of multiculturalism for dispute resolution training.”