Interests

 

Sanda Kaufman

Professor of Planning and Public Administration at the Levin College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland State University

Interviewed by Julian Portilla, 2003


This rough transcript provides a text alternative to audio. We apologize for occasional errors and unintelligible sections (which are marked with ???).

One of my observations as an intervener, as a practitioner, as well as a thinker about conflict issues is that I have yet to see somebody who speaks in ways that are against their own interests. So we need to be cautious about the fact that the stories that we hear, even when we're very eager to hear what the people themselves have to say, are going to be frames that put peoples' interests and desires in the best light. Therefore, if it were possible at all, I'd get all these sources of information, and I'd be skeptical about them at the same time, and I would also be skeptical about my own take. I don't know that this is possible. I'm one for information and I'm one for facts. I really think that the more one knows about the situation, the more helpful they can be. So not about the myths, not about what's nice to think about it. You know, it's always nice to think that everybody is people too, but on the other hand it's good to see when somebody actually does not have somebody else's best interest in mind, to recognize those things, even if we were made uncomfortable by it. So I think that information is really important.