ERIC Number: ED225201
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Toward a Theory of Conflict and Culture.
Viewing conflict as a communication process and culture as a system of symbols and meanings allows conflict to be seen as embedded in the normative system of culture. Conflict is functional when it maintains the fundamental norms and values of the culture, regulates an appropriate degree of stability in the system, and takes place in a normative heterogeneous culture where individual opinions and viewpoints are respected. Otherwise, it is dysfunctional. Low Context Cultures (LCC) value individual orientation and overt communication patterns and maintain a heterogeneous normative structure. High Context Cultures (HCC) value group orientation and covert communication patterns and maintain a homogeneous normative structure. Given this framework, several predictions about conflict are possible: (1) LCC individuals are more likely to perceive conflict as instrumental, marked by opposing practices or goals, whereas HCC individuals are more likely to perceive it as expressive, marked by hostile feelings; (2) conflicts are most likely to occur in LCC when individual normative expectations of behavior are violated, in HCC when collective expectations are violated; (3) individuals in LCC are more likely to possess a confrontational, direct attitude toward conflict, while individuals in HCC are more likely to possess a nonconfrontational, indirect attitude; and (4) individuals in LCC are more likely to use factual-inductive style or axiomatic-deductive style in conflict, while individuals in HCC are more likely to use affective-intuitive style. (JL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (68th, Louisville, KY, November 4-7, 1982).