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Conflict Resolutions, Cultrual Differences Essay

1955 words - 8 pages

The American way of dealing with conflict, according to the article, is arguing. This might not be the best way, and it's definitely not the only way. The article serves the purpose of exploring the cultural differences in how others deal with conflict. It provides alternatives and different ideas in how to resolve conflicts, as oppose to arguing.Arguing is a method of dealing with conflict. In the argument culture "nearly everything is framed as a battle or game in which winning or losing is the main concern." The pillars of argument rest on this win-lose idea. Argument is expressed through "polarized", two sided, debates and battles. The result elicits a winner and a resolved conflict.This ...view middle of the document...

To him "disagreement was a sign of a good relationship." There are disadvantages of arguments. It can be upsetting and it can turn violent. The Japanese women "found it so upsetting" and Andrea's family threw objects. For people who aren't used to the argument culture, arguing can come off to be a "surprise, confusion, or alarm" and be very offensive. The disadvantaged result of an argument or debate is that there is always a loser.Another method of resolving conflict is ritual vituperation. This method works by the means of screaming insults and song lashing. It was created by traditional societies; the rules are culturally agreed upon, which gives this method a ritual context. It is used by "Women in Gapun, Papua New Guinea" and in traditional Nigerian villages."Women in Gapun Papua New Guinea, when angered by husbands, relatives, or fellow villagers, can erupt in a kros, shouting insults and obscenities loudly enough to be heard all around." The shouter waits near or in her home and waits for her offender to go far enough away. The villagers, then, watch up close as the women shouts. In Nigeria, a very similar method is used, song lashing. It "consists of familiar proverbs or original verses" that implies insults. Like kros, onlookers also watch. It's different in the way that the target is referred to indirectly.An advantage of this way of managing conflict is that it provides "outlets so aggression can be expressed". It's their way of relieving anger. The advantages stem from it's ritualized, structured rules. The onlooker's role is to prevent any physical violence. The onlooker's provide the speaker with the satisfaction of listening. The speaker provides the onlookers with entertainment. "Effective song-lashers are admired for their verbal skill". The target is relived of any direct abuse.There are two major disadvantages to this method. The conflict doesn't get resolved and the children in the surrounding area are subjected to this inappropriate verbal aggression.An alternative to the idea of winning or losing is "victors without vanquished". This method of dealing with conflict is to honor the winners as well as the losers. There is more emphasis on harmony "rather than winner take all." This method is used in the Asian culture and has a historical significance in Japan.An example of this method is the 1868 Asian revolution. The two sides of the conflict were the supporters of the Western government model and the old, Chinese model. "The people who had fought for the old regimen were not punished but invited to join the new government (and most did)." The Western supporters won, but the supporters of the traditional, Chinese model maintained their respect and dignity; they were "allowed to remain in existence." The main advantage of this method is that the loser gets recognition, "retaining a large measure of respect." According to Ben-Ami Shillony, an anthropologist, this method "helped Japan avoid disastrous internecine ethnic and...

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