Source: (2006) In, Harrman, Margaret S., editor, Handbook of Mediation: Bridging Theory, Research, and Practice. Blackwell Publishing pp.326-341

In order to understand interpersonal mediation processes one cannot exclude people’s social identities, as it would mean that we look at individuals without them having, for example, a gender or a nationality. Furthermore, these social affiliations gain meaning by including the social context in which mediation takes place. Only then can we understand the behaviors enacted by the protagonists. A second argument we introduce is that the concept of mediation invokes a conflict frame. Indeed most of the social psychology has studies the means to reduce conflict. We argue that it is imperative to study conflict and collaboration jointly if one is to gain fuller understanding of the dynamics of social relationships. In the subsequent section we illustrate how we work with our understanding of the dynamics of social relationships, in our work as both researchers and consultants. We end with formulating implications for the study of and interventions in interpersonal mediation. (excerpt)