Culture and Conflict
The issue of culture is of critical importance in conflicts. There lies a strong correlation between culture and conflicts. The probability of culture can be viewed in various dimensions such as based on ethnicity, religion, attitudes and beliefs (Triandis, 2000). The issue of cultural conflict is not new to me. I have experienced and observed several cultural conflict. The article “Culture and conflict” by Triandis seeks to explore the issue of culture and conflict. Triandis portray the following facts on culture and conflict.
- Personal behavior is essential in determining other people’s perspectives about a person. For instance, trust has been shown to determine how people relate to others.
- Communication as a cultural element relates to the aspect of conflict directly. Triandis shows conflict to be of the essence in instigating or resolving a conflict.
- Minimal exposure to other people’s culture may lead to miscommunication. For effective cross-cultural communication, there is the need for the participants to be aware and have little knowledge about the other cultures.
- Religion is one of the cultural factors which leads to differences in the points of view. Mullen portrays how various religions lead to different judgments.
- Different cultures assign different weights used in social perception. Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck show how the weights vary with each attribute sampled by members of the different culture.
- Understanding culture is of great importance in conflict resolution. It helps us know how the conflict started and its evolution, (Triandis, 1991)
- People in the world find themselves making inaccurate acknowledgment. The actor acknowledges the external factors while the one observing recognizes the internal factors.
- Conflict may be between different cultural groups or within the same group.
The relationship between the recipient and the messenger is vital since it brings out the level of trust between the two. In the article, Saddam Hussein paid more attention to his brother than to Aziz since they were brothers. In real life, trust in communication is directly related to the strength of bond of the parties involved. I have experienced many cases where I find myself trusting the information from those people closely related to me. The article also accounts for the different weight assigned to communication by various cultures. There are cultures that emphasize the context of the message while others concentrate on the content of the communication. With this in mind, while interacting with someone from a different culture you ought to have little exposure to their cultural background so as to avoid miscommunication.
In a management position, it’s always wise to be cautious when receiving information from those closely related to you. There might be a high probability of miscommunication since one will pay more attention to those people who are closely related to him/her. Though there is the need to trust those related to you more than the others, there is need to pay equal attention to each and everyone as this may reduce the chances of miscommunication. Just as in the article, Saddam Hussein could have paid equal attention to both his brother and Aziz.
One of the founding authors of this article is Triandis, who tries to explain the various causes of miscommunication and mistranslations as brought about by the culture. Also, Segal outlines different aspects of cross-cultural conflict and their effects in communication.
The information of the article is of great importance since it brings out the issues and conflicts resulting from differences in cultural backgrounds. It shows how members of the community can adapt to their social environment. The paper brings out how culture shapes us in the day to day activities; we are the product of the culture that we usually grew up in. By understanding the article, we can learn the factors that increase the chances of the individualistic cognitive.
Various authors and researchers have tried to advance and explain more on culture and conflicts. For instance, the interrelation of culture, class and conflict has been explored (Ealham, 2004). Negus (2011) has also examined the issue of culture and conflict in the music industry. Negus covers the conflicts based on the subcultures of the music industry.
Ealham, C. (2004). Class, Culture and Conflict in Barcelona, 1898-1937. Routledge.
Negus, K. (2011). Producing pop: Culture and conflict in the popular music industry.
Triandis, H. C. (2000). Culture and conflict. International Journal of Psychology,35(2), 145-152.