Chapter 10/Flan 3440/Fall 2016 Chapter 10 Sum
Chapter 10: Intercultural Conflict
After reading this chapter, students should be able to:
1. Define intercultural conflict;
2. Explain and apply the components of Kims Model of Intercultural Conflict;
3. Explain and apply the components of Ting-Toomey and Oetzels Culture-Based Social Ecological Conflict Model;
4. Explain and apply the components of Broomes Model of Building a Culture of Peace Through Dialogue;
5. Assess your self-face, other-face, and mutual-face concerns;
6. Define facework and identify three primary facework strategies;
7. List and define the five primary styles of conflict communication;
8. List and define the three secondary styles of conflict communication;
9. Identify and discuss the conflict styles preferred by individualistic and collectivistic cultures; and
10. Identify and discuss the conflict styles preferred by high- versus low-context cultures.
Conflict is an inevitable part of being in a society with others. All types of human relationships, from strangers, to acquaintances, to intimates experience conflict. Communication plays a paradoxical role in most conflicts because it requires communication to instigate conflict and it requires communication to resolve conflict. Unfortunately, conflict is the source of much relational stress and dissolution. Fortunately, the successful resolution of conflict is one of the strongest and most consistent predictors of relational satisfaction. Hence, an understanding of conflict and how to resolve it is an essential part of becoming a competent communicator, especially in your relationships with persons from other cultures
This chapter focuses on the definition of intercultural conflict, presents two theoretical models of intercultural conflict, presents a new model of building a culture of peace, discusses the concept of face, facework, and communication conflict styles, and finally, examines how individualistic, collectivistic, and high and low context cultures address conflict.
I. Definitions of Intercultural Conflict
A. Intercultural conflict is defined as the implicit or explicit emotional struggle between persons of different cultural communities over perceived or actual incompatibility of cultural ideologies and values, situational norms, goals, face-orientations, scarce resources, styles/processes, and/or outcomes in a face-to-face (or mediated) context within a sociohistorical embedded system.
B. Intercultural conflict occurs when cultural group membership factors influence how individuals approach, avoid, and manage conflict. Intercultural conflict involves a certain degree of ethnocentric perceptions and judgments.
II. A Model of Intercultural Conflict
A. Young Yum Kim has developed a model of intercultural conflict. Kim argues that intercultural conflict occurs at three interdependent and interrelated levels, including a micro, or individual level, an intermediary level, and a macro, or societal level.
1. The micro orindividuallevel of intercultural conflict refers to each individuals unique attitudes, dispositions, and beliefs that he or she brings to the conflict.
2. Theintermediarylevel of intercultural conflict refers to the actual location and context of the conflict. Some environments (e.g., neighborhoods, at school, on the job) may be more likely than others to facilitate conflict.
3. The macro orsocietallevel of intercultural conflict includes factors that probably are out of the control of the interactants. These conditions include any history of subjugation, ideological/ structural inequality, and minority group strength.
III. An Intercultural Conversation: Kims Model of Intercultural Conflict
A. Mike Fabion is the vice president of Acme Marketing Firm, a company his father founded. Acme is a direct marketing firm for insurance agencies. Mike is 58 years old and White. He was born and raised in Kenilworth, Illinois, a wealthy Chicago suburb. Mike has six directors under him in Acmes organizational hierarchy. These six directors each manage and supervise about seven employees. Thus, Mike supervises about 50 employees. Once a year, Mike has one-on-one meetings with each employee. These meetings are a part of each employees annual evaluation. Today, Mike is meeting with Nicole Newton. Nicole is a new employee and has worked for Acme for just over a year. She was hired soon after graduating from college with a bachelors degree in communication. This will be her first evaluation meeting. She was hired as a telemarketer and hopes to move up in the organization soon. She is African American and 23 years old. She was raised in the city of Chicago, in a public-housing district. Their meeting takes place in Mikes office. She and Mike have never met.
A. This model highlights four factors that affect an intercultural conflict episode: primary orientation factors, situational appraisals, conflict processes, and conflict competence.
B. The primary orientation factors are what each individual brings to the conflict, including macro, exo, meso, and micro layers to the conflict. The macro-level factors are the larger sociocultural factors, histories, worldviews, beliefs, and values held by each individual. Exo factors include the formal institutions present in any culture, including religious institutions, governments, and health care systems, among others. Meso-level factors refer to the more immediate dimensions of a particular culturefor example, the local church group, ones workplace setting, or even ones extended family. The micro-level factors include the individuals unique intrapersonal attributes, such as his or her level of individualism or collectivism.
C. While primary orientation factors are the principal influences on conflict, they affect how each individual perceives (appraises) the situation in which the conflict takes place. Macro, exo, meso, and micro levels appear here as well.
D. The micro conflict processes include those factors that emerge from the conflict interaction itself.
F. Last, the model includes conflict competence criteria and outcomes, which include effectiveness/appropriateness, productivity/satisfaction, and principled ethics. Conflict competence refers to the application of intercultural conflict knowledge. Appropriateness refers to the degree to which the individuals behaviors are suitable for the cultural context in which they occur. Effectiveness refers to the degree to which the individuals achieve mutually shared meaning, which leads to intercultural understanding. Productivity/satisfaction refers to the degree to which the individuals are able to create the desired images of themselves, to what extent those images are accepted by the opposing party, and the perception by both parties that a successful resolution has been reached.
G. The Culture-Based Social Ecological Model is applied to the earlier interaction between Mike Fabion and Nicole Newton,
V. The Concept of Face, Facework, and Communication Conflict Styles
A.Facerefers to a persons sense of favorable self-worth or self-image experienced during communicative situations. Face is an emotional extension of the self-concept. Face is considered a universal concept; that is, people in all cultures have a sense of face, but the specific meanings of face may vary across cultures. There are three types of face, including self-face, other-face, and mutual-face. Self-face is the concern for ones own image, other-face is the concern for anothers image, and mutual-face is the concern for both parties images or the image of the relationship. Ones face can be threatened, enhanced, undermined, and bargained over both emotionally and cognitively.
B. Facework refers to the communicative strategies employed to manage ones own face or to support or challenge anothers face. Facework can be employed to initiate, manage, or terminate conflict. Three general types of facework strategies that are used in intercultural conflict. These include dominating, avoiding, and integrating facework
C. Whereas facework is employed to manage and uphold face during conflict, conflict interaction styles refer to ways individuals manage the actual conflict. How people manage communication during conflict differs considerably across cultures
1. Ones conflict interaction style is based on two communication dimensions. The first is the degree to which a person asserts aself-face need,that is,seeks to satisfy his or her own interests during conflict. The second is the degree to which a person is cooperative (i.e., observes another-face need) and seeks to incorporate the interests of the other.
2. The combination of assertiveness, orself-face need,and cooperativeness, orother-face need,defines five primary communication styles of managing conflict and three secondary styles. The five primary styles are dominating, integrating, obliging, avoiding, and compromising. The three secondary styles include emotional expression, third-party help, and neglect (see Figure 10.3).
VI. An Intercultural Conversation: Dominating and Third-Party Conflict Styles
A. Kevin, who grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, is a student at the University of Wisconsin. Kevin is enrolled in an introductory communication course. The professor has assigned Kevin and Kokkeong, an international exchange student from Malaysia, to work on a project together. The professor has given them the option of either submitting a paper or giving a presentation. Kevin and Kokkeong disagree on which option to pursue. Kevin prefers the presentation option, while Kokkeong prefers the paper option
VII. The Intercultural Style Inventory (ICS)
A. The ICS Inventory is a theoretical model and assessment tool used by professional mediators and trainers to diagnose and manage intercultural conflicts. According to the model, the dynamics of conflict revolve around two fundamental features of all conflict: disagreement and emotional reaction. Disagreement would be considered the cognitive component of conflict. A second fundamental feature of conflict is the affective or emotional response to the disagreement.
B. Conflict style, then, is the behavioral component of conflict that follows from the cognitive (i.e., disagreement) and affective (i.e., negative emotional reaction) dimensions of conflict.
C. According to the ICS Inventory, during conflict, the extent to which an individual is either direct or indirect and emotionally expressive or emotionally restrained defines his or her intercultural conflict style, of which there are four types, independent of culture, including (a) discussion, (b) engagement, (c) accommodation, and (d) dynamic.