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Explain why not all conflicts can be resolved and why some conflicts should not be resolved. Essay Example

  • Category:
    Sociology
  • Document type:
    Essay
  • Level:
    Undergraduate
  • Page:
    1
  • Words:
    376

Why not all conflicts can be resolved and why some conflicts should not be resolved

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Why not all conflicts can be resolved and why some conflicts should not be resolved

Because of the nature of some conflicts, not all conflicts can be resolved; and for the same reason, some conflicts should not be resolved. Some examples of conflicts that cannot be resolved include those pertaining to justice or those about right and wrong. By definition, conflict resolution is a process that directs responsibility for resolving a dispute to the parties involved. This calls for compromise or capitulation for the parties involved. Unfortunately, in some conflicts, neither party may be willing to capitulate or compromise, and this leads to a stalemate – implying that such conflicts cannot be resolved. Further, some conflicts may arise over non-negotiable issues, such as where justice is required, or where a given party is wrong (Tidwell, 2001). For instance, if a minor jumps into a swimming pool alone, a guardian will scold him/her. This will generate a great deal of conflict between the minor and the guardian, and is not likely to be resolved to the mutual satisfaction of both parties. Nonetheless, the conflict has to prevail for the sake of the minor’s safety.

There are situations where the behaviour of the parties in a conflict or the possible consequences of resolution may be a barrier to the resolution process. For instance, in conflicts where power is involved (such as national election disputes), conflict may escalate if the solution to the problem is asymmetric. This is likely to occur as the aggrieved party seeks to redress grievances against the powerful party. Another situation is a subject of a conflict not being resolved is where one or all the parties in the conflict are intractable. This implies that even if attempts to resolve the conflict are made, the hard-line stance taken by one party or all the parties will always obstruct the resolution process. Hence, conflict management rather than conflict resolution may be considered viable in this case (Schellenberg, 1996).

References

Schellenberg, J. A. (1996). Conflict Resolution: Theory, Research, and Practice. SUNY Press.

Tidwell, A. (2001). Conflict Resolved? A Critical Assessment of Conflict Resolution. London: Continuum International Publishing Group.