Social Conflict Resolution : Theory, Research, Practice Essay

1374 Words6 Pages
Abstract
Social conflicts- conflicts in which the parties are individuals or an aggregate of individuals- are unavoidable instances of life. What causes social conflicts, however, remains a subject of contention. Scholars across various disciplines have come-up-with different theories to explain the causes of social conflicts. Generally, each theory attempts to look at the causes from a particular perspective or discipline such as economics, sociology, psychology, political science or socio-biology. Nonetheless, conflicts, as complex social phenomena, defy single explanation. They are aggregate results of myriad sets of causes, which transcend beyond the comprehension of one or more theories or perspectives. It is, however, conceded that each theory can help explain a cause or a combination of causes that would contribute towards a comprehensive understanding of social conflicts. This reflection paper aims to critically examine theories on causes of social conflict discussed under James Schellenberg’s book entitled Conflict Resolution: Theory, Research, Practice. These are: individual characteristics theories (Chapter 3), social process theories (Chapter 4) and social structure theories (Chapter 5). First, I will briefly discuss the basic tenets of the theories, which will be followed by critical examination of the theories. Finally, some concluding observations will be drawn from the analysis.
I. Discussion of the Theories
Individual characteristic theories, which are
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