In this course, conflict is studied through a communication framework to better understand the mechanisms that prompt, escalate, and resolve human disputes. Theory and research investigating conflict processes and features is examined. Prescriptive and descriptive models for mediation and negotiation will be applied to conflicts of varying complexity and scope so that students can practice procedures best suited to their communicative style. Approaches to de-escalate aggression and angst, while benefiting from the healthy outcomes of conflict, are reviewed and analyzed. The course is designed to be both theoretical and pragmatic. A major assignment in the course requires students to document and analyze various conflict episodes they have experienced to identify patterns, isolate behaviors that may be destructive, and identify constructive practices they can apply to personal and professional contexts throughout the SAS voyage and in the future.
Student Learning Objectives:
- To develop knowledge about the nature and mechanisms of differences that produce conflict;
- To acquaint you with various attitudes, habits, perspectives, and beliefs related to conflict;
- To familiarize you with the concepts, principles, and theories of conflict management and resolution;
- To explore the growing field of conflict management and resolution and different ways to constructively approach conflict, negotiate, and mediate;
- To shift student conceptualization of conflict from a negative occurrence to an opportunity to develop relationship understanding and growth.
Field WorkCountry: Myanmar (Burma)
Date: November 8, 2018
This field class is designed to educate students on the impact of Fair Trade on an individual’s life, focusing specifically on the negotiations and conflicts that have been experienced and overcome to sustain the cooperatives that provide employment and opportunities to communities. Local Fair trade leaders and community folk will meet with us to discuss the overall impact of these initiatives on individuals, families, and communities over time. We will discuss how conflicts are communicated, who the participants are, what aspects play into the negotiations (gender, age, status, skill, education, etc.).
- Identify the different issues that are in conflict for individuals associated with fair trade cooperatives, with special attention paid to the different aspects of life that are involved (such as: personal/individual, familial, social/community, financial, educational, health).
- Investigate and discuss various aspects of the conflicts, such as who is involved, where conflicts occur, how long they last, what they are about, who participates in the conflict negotiation, where and how it takes place, and the implications of the outcomes.
- Students will examine the challenges and obstacles associated with the fair trade experience and compare and contrast the experiences to their own norms and social expectations in order to research the different strategies used to manage the conflicts.