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Understanding majority and minority participation in interracial and interethnic dialogue

Hubbard, Amy S
June 4, 2015

Source: (2001) In Reconciliation, Justice, and Coexistence: Theory & Practice, ed. Mohammed Abu-Nimer, pp. 275-289. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books.

Conflict resolution – such as in interracial and interethnic conflict – often has much to do with addressing issues of power. Of forms of conflict resolution, many who work in this area favor the dialogue group; it is particularly useful at bringing people together at a grassroots level for discussion, often with the possibility of reconciliation. However, Hubbard notes, most find a tension between fighting for justice and working for peace. In this chapter then, Hubbard presents a set of hypotheses about majority-minority relations in dialogue. She indicates that majority and minority participants use dialogue in different ways partly due to power differentials between them that affect their interest in peace and social justice. Additionally, the dynamics of the dialogue process have powerful effects on the power imbalance between the parties.


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