SOCIAL NORMS & EMOTIONS IN CONFLICT PREVENTION

SOCIAL NORMS & EMOTIONS IN CONFLICT PREVENTION

INTRODUCTION

Human beings are social animals and more often than not live in groups such as families. This makes interaction inevitable and as a result differences and conflicts are part of human lives. Moreover, civilization which made humans distinct social creatures different from any other organism created all sorts of sources of conflict may it be political, economic, sports, believes, religion, ethics, racial among many other sources. However, though it created the various distinctions, the society had already established social norms. They enable the society to co-exist with every member not only preserving their distinction but also without affecting the distinction of the other. Emotions on the other hand create short term or immediate solutions to existing conflicts or challenges. Such as the expression of sympathy to a hurt person makes him feel part of the society without even expressing a word.

This paper seeks to analyze the various sources of conflict in the society and identify how positive social norms and emotions contribute to avoiding and resolving the conflicts if they arise.

                        CONFLICT

Conflict is the state of discord between individuals or groups of persons working or living together that stems from a variety of factors. Another definition used by most scholars define the term conflict in relation to power with the most direct one being ‘conflict is the confrontation of powers’ (Rummel, 1976). The power can either be altruistic and manipulative, coercive and physical or assertive and identive (1976).

In the society that we live in there are a number of sources of conflict, key among them is situations (Mendoza & Manson, 1993). Most minor conflicts that develop among individuals are a product of the situations that the various parties find themselves in. This may arise as a result of the failure to get the expected satisfaction from a particular engagement (1993). This may be in form of services, achievement or compassion. This form of conflict may also emanate from heated face to face arguments which may have emerged from a common point of view but the involved parties have different approaches.

Conflict may also emerge from the struggle of social status. This is commonly referred as the class struggle that was extensively discussed by Karl Marx. This is the conflict that emerges between the haves and the have nots (Feinberg & Soltis, 2004). Therefore the have nots hold the view that the haves are exploiting them to be in the position that they are in and as a result creating a conflict. It is also important to note that conflict can also arise out of the social context of individuals or due to social disorganization (Mendoza & Manson, 1993).

 

SOCIAL NORMS AND EMOTIONS

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