|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Gender Conflict resolution Intercultural communication|
The authors suggest that conflict is an inevitable part of humanity which is true because individuals find themselves conflicting as a result of having different opinions and approaches towards a concept. The definition of conflict from the article is "the interaction of interdependent people who perceive opposition of goals, aims, and values where they see the other parties as interfering with the realization they have on such goals." Conflicts are of various types, and the most prevalent are ethnic and sex-related. The study from the authors seeks to examine the critical role of self-construal in conflict styles conducted among four ethnic groups in the US and also between males and females (TingToomey et al. 2001). Self-construal as per the article is used to refer to the grounds for self-definition and the extent to which the self is defined independently of others or interdependently with others.
The conflict styles are the general tendencies or modes for patterned responses to conflict in situations. The five techniques of handling interpersonal conflict include integrating done in high concern for self and others, compromising which is moderate on both matters for self and others, dominating which is done with high self and low concern for others, obliging where there is low concern for self and high concern for others and avoiding where the concern for self and others is low (TingToomey et al. 1991). Other styles that help solve conflicts especially in areas affluent in ethnic and sex differences could include the likes of emotional expression where there is the use of one's emotion to guide communication behavior, third part help which involves the use of an outsider to mediate a conflict and neglect where it uses indirect responses to threaten the image of another person.
The argument about self-construal is that it is an ideal choice to explain the influence of culture on the behavior because of the link to cultural values, norms, and communication as well. The independent construal of self involves the view that individuals have in a unique identity with individuated feelings and motivations while the interdependent construal of self, people get motivated so that they find a way to fit in with relevant others creating an interpersonal relationship. The study is offering insight into the relationship between self-construal and conflict styles where it was discovered that the self-construal became a better explanatory compared to the ethnicity factor (TingToomey et al. 2001). There was also the discovery that the independent self-construal have a positive association with conflict styles that are dominating. On the other side, the research also discovered that the interdependent self-construal have a positive association with conflicting techniques such as avoiding, obliging, compromising and integrating.
The study is comprehensive and provides a good insight on understanding styles of handling conflicts and how they relate with the concepts of self-construal with the survey conducted among the four US ethnic samples (TingToomey et al. 2001). The article helps to illuminate the relationship between these concepts and the authors elaborate the meaning of each variable and its relation. The discussion in the section is excellent and engaging for a reader as they can follow closely and notice that the differences at individual level do explain better the differences in conflict management styles compared to backgrounds of sex and ethnicity. These findings are reliable as they are connected to the daily life of an individual and what they undergo in different areas. I agree with the authors' concepts because they apply to life situations.
Ting-Toomey, S., Gao, G., Trubisky, P., Yang, Z., Soo Kim, H., Lin, S. L., & Nishida, T. (1991). Culture, face maintenance, and styles of handling interpersonal conflict: A study in five cultures. International Journal of conflict management, 2(4), 275-296.
TingToomey, S., Oetzel, J. G., & YeeJung, K. (2001). Selfconstrual types and conflict management styles. Communication Reports, 14(2), 87-104.
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