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Commentary: When Cultures Collide.

Macfarlane, Julie
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) In Catherine Bell and David Kahane, eds, Intercultural Dispute Resolution in Aboriginal Contexts. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. Pp. 94-103.

Each of the chapters in this first section struggles with the dilemma of how to facilitate dialogue between different understandings of the world, and what the implication might be for those who participate. Much of what is happening in conflict resolution initiatives involves cross-cultural dialogue. These efforts can be held up as models of increased sensitivity and power-sharing, or as simply another means of the dominant cultural group imposing its agenda on others with an aura of respectability. To be authentic efforts to build cross-cultural understanding, we need to know more about what might happen when different cultures – traditions, systems and norms – of conflict resolution are thrown together or collide. This short response will articulate and tentatively evaluate some of the possible scenarios that we see emerging. (excerpt)


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