Communication in 12 Angry Men Essay

793 Words Apr 27th, 2013 4 Pages
Reginald Rose’s “12 Angry Men” is a testament to the power and productivity of conflict. In the same way that conflict can both help and hinder us, the ego/identity and relational based conflicts, and the competitive and avoidance approaches to conflict interfere with the group coming to consensus, yet at the same time galvanize these 12 angry men.
Many of the jurors’ personal biases, often the causes of relational or ego/identity based conflict, constantly undermine the voting. Throughout the entire film, perhaps the most heated source of conflict arises from the group’s perception of that era’s underprivileged youth; they are stereotyped as, criminals, menaces to society, and rebels who don’t respect authority. Beginning of film,
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This case only brings the group off track again as yet another disagreement has to be resolved.
While these conflicts themselves might have held the jurors back, the competition approach to these sources of conflict moved the group in the right direction. For example, Juror #9, the old man, approached Juror #10’s insults and stereotyping in competitive fashion, claiming that people are not simply born liars. Later, Juror #10 calls the accused boy a “common ignorant slob [that] don’t even speak good English,” after which immigrant Juror #11 competitively corrects him. In the end, almost every juror takes a competitive approach to juror #10’s insulting in one of the film’s most powerful scenes as they, one by one, leave the table and turn their backs on him. The jurors unsympathizing intolerance of Juror #10’s bigoted views serve as a prime example of a competitive approach to conflict. The conflict and the approach to the conflict between the jurors and Juror #10 bring the group together as the votes slowly change from guilty to not guilty.
Another major source of conflict is the other jurors’ disinterested approach to the trial. Almost every juror approaches Juror #8’s insistence on a not guilty vote with avoidance. They care little about the case and do not grasp its gravity,

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