Fundamentals Seminar 16: Culture and Conflict

 

Cultural differences both cause conflict and culture effects the way people perceive and engage in conflict even when all disputants share the same culture.  However, culture is a lot like the air we breathe--it is so "ordinary," that we take it for granted, and we don't realize when cultural differences or worldviews are tripping us up.  These essays explain.

The essays in This Seminar:

  • Culture and Conflict -- People from different cultures often have such radically different worldviews that what seems like common sense to one side, is anything but sensible to the other. Different cultures and worldviews can lead to completely different understandings or frames of a conflict, making resolution a challenge.
  • Cultural and Worldview Frames -- People from different cultures often have such radically different worldviews that what seems like common sense to one side, is anything but sensible to the other.
  • Cross-Cultural Communication -- Even with all the good will in the world, miscommunication is likely to happen, especially when there are significant cultural differences between communicators. Miscommunication may lead to conflict, or aggravate conflict that already exists.
  • Communication-tools for Cultural Differences --Edward T. Hall writes that for us to understand each other may mean, "reorganizing [our] thinking...and few people are willing to risk such a radical move." This essay offers strategies for improving cross-cultural communication.
  • Culture-Based Negotiation Styles -- In Asian, Canadian, and U.S. cultures, touching outside of intimate situations is discouraged. But, Mediterranean, Arab, and Latin American cultures allow more touching. Cultural differences like this can cause problems in cross-cultural negotiations. Such differences are explored in this essay.