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ERIC Number: ED419059
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: N/A
Cultural Differences and Conflict in the Australian Community. Working Papers on Multiculturalism Paper No. 11.
Fisher, Linda; Long, Jeremy
The Community Justice Centres (CJCs) in New South Wales (Australia) are an addition to the justice system established and maintained by the state to deal with dispute and conflict in the community. The CJCs are designed to deal with disputes, such as those between members of a family or between neighbors, where there is a continuing relationship between the people in conflict. Four centers are operating to provide disputants with a range of alternatives, such as mediation, adjudication, arbitration, and a process of conciliation and mediation, to resolve their disputes. This paper explores the CJC experience in multicultural dispute resolution. The emphasis is qualitative rather than quantitative, but available statistics were examined as a preliminary analysis. Evidence from the CJC files indicates that a great deal of conflict is cross-cultural in the broadest sense because it involves the conflict of values and views, not just conflicting interests. Ethnic and racial prejudice was a factor in a small proportion of disputes, but it is worth noting that cultural differences can be present without becoming a factor in disputes involving people of non-English speaking background (NESB). Qualitative examination of the operation of the CJCs demonstrates that the mediation methods they use provide an appropriate and effective means of resolving disputes involving people of NESB. Findings also suggest that matching mediators to the cultural backgrounds of the parties involved is not likely to contribute significantly to the resolution of disputes, and that other factors may be more important. Since evidence on this point is not conclusive, it is recommended that mediators and parties be matched for cultural background. Appendixes present three study surveys. (SLD)
Publication Type: Books; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Australian Office of Multicultural Affairs, Canberra.
Authoring Institution: Wollongong Univ., New South Wales (Australia). Centre for Multicultural Studies.
Identifiers: Australia; Mediation