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Power and Privilege in Conflict Resolution - Essay Example

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In his article “Power and Conflicts”, Coleman clearly outlines how power is related to conflict resolution. According to him, there are different ways of defining power which could be power over, power with and dependence and powerless. He says that in conflict resolution, when one of the conflicting parties feels that the solution that is reached gives the other party power over them, the resolution is not satisfactory. This means that the same kind of conflict is likely to arise in future. In order to reach a lasting resolution, competition should not be created in resolving conflicts, and the parties involved should not feel like they are in a win-lose position. There should be more emphasis on promoting cooperation, independent power and shared power. It is also evident that the people who possess power have a tendency to justify having this power and using it in the manner that they feel fit. They are also not willing to share this power with those they perceive to be powerless. The parties with low power on the other hand are likely to show discontentment with their situation and are shortsighted. They in most cases roll their discontentment to people who have less power than them (Coleman 12). This ruins their chances of being empowered and makes it even harder for the conflicts to be resolved. It is only through coalition building and cooperation where power is neutralized that conflicts can be resolved completely. Privileges also play a vital role in conflict resolution since they give power to the privileged and take power from the underprivileged. In dealing with conflicts that come with one party having power over the others because of one being privileged, there are certain things that need to be considered. For instance, gender equality has been a source of conflict for many years. Women complain of not being equally treated in education, work and other situation. Dealing with this kind of situation would require that the men acknowledge the fact that they are privileged and accept to lose some of the privileges in order to resolve the conflict (McIntosh 3). This is because in most cases, although it may be universally acknowledged that women are under-privileged, men would not agree to the fact that they are privileged. This could be the reason why we are still very far away from dealing with the issue of gender equality. The question of truth and morality is an intricate one and it is crucial to understand this relationship in conflict resolution. This is especially based on the fact that a person may have wrong motives but his actions lead to good results while another one may have good intention but the ends become terrible. Truth is thus the harsh reality that people have to live with while morality is judged in terms of good intentions (Kriesberg, 3). Truth and morality are related to conflict resolution in the sense that morality and truth seeks to social justice and reconciliation and conflict resolutions are part of this quest. Take the example of the situation where single mothers who do not ...Show more


In order to effectively solve conflicts, it is important to understand some of the factors that could be the source of the conflict.This paper seeks to address how power and privilege influences the resolution of conflict in relation to real life examples. …
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Power and Privilege in Conflict Resolution essay example
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