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11.6: Conflict

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    Conflict may be either perceived or actual, and is the result of oppression, opposition, or the disagreement of needs, values or interests between individuals, groups, or even cultures as a whole. The concept of conflict can assist in gaining further insight into large-scale disharmony between cultures, or simply a brawl between two individuals. Conflict is a result of differences in interests, values, actions, or directions, and can be internal or external.

    As on the individual basis conflict may result as a component of an emotional upset. These emotional upsets can be perceived as behavioral, physiological, or cognitive in nature.

    • Behavioral is the expression of emotional experience and can be verbal, non-verbal, intentional, or unintentional.
    • Physiological is the physical correspondence between the feelings given by emotions and personal identity.
    • Cognitive is the concept that on an individual basis an experience is given a specific level of relevancy.

    From the standpoint of cultures, engagement in conflicts is due to a variety of sources. More specifically, those within diplomacy, economy, military, and religion.

    Types of conflict

    • Diplomatic conflict: Diplomatic conflict arises when the interests of different countries are not compatible [16]. States or nation-states create plans and objectives to improve the welfare of the state or nation-state and/or its citizens. To satisfy an objective, a government sometimes demands resources from a neighboring government. Conflict becomes apparent when a government attempts to complete an objective even at the expense of a close nation or a nation involved in the objective. An objective of a government can range from increasing resources that another nation has possession of or security.

    An example of diplomatic conflict would be the Cold War. This was a struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union including their allies to influence developing countries into adopting their political and economic ideologies. The conflict escalated to such a severe degree that it spawned the Korean and Vietnam Wars. The conflict began at the end of World War II and concluded at the beginning of the 1990s soon after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Cold War illustrates how conflicting objectives by powerful nation-states can affect such an extensive population, often to their detriment. Instead of a tangible resource, security and global dominance were objective of the conflicting nation-states.

    • Economic conflict: Economic conflict occurs when there is a disagreement over the distribution of wealth of a state or nation-state [17]. There is often conflict within a state when resources are scarce and must be rationed across its population. When resources become scarce, especially in wartime, the government or other special interests that have power in a state or nation-state control the distribution of wealth and resources in that state or nation-state. That is, the government has the power to appropriate and distribute goods and/or services to the population as it sees fit. This leads to struggles by other minority interests such as labor strikes, litigation, and lockouts. Economic conflict is also an inherent problem in colonialism, and can often escalate into violent revolutions because of unbalanced resource distribution. In modern times, this same conflict can be seen in the globalization issue, with international corporations serving the role of resource controllers/distributors.
    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): Soldiers in military conflict/war. Soldiers crossing the Rhine River.
    • Military conflict: Military conflict generally occurs when two opposing nations revert to the use of violent force to dispute conflicts through fighting. The nation or state with the most powerful military uses the nation's military as leverage in negotiations to reach a compromise or understanding.

    ​​​​​​​War is the one of main consequence of military conflict if negotiations can not be resolved, and can generally be defined as armed-conflict between nation-states or large political groups. Although a civil war is an internal conflict between separate parties within the same state or nation.

    • Religious-based conflict: Religious-based conflict occurs between two religious groups, often when a larger, more powerful group attempts to take over a smaller one. There are currently at least nineteen areas of major religious conflict going on throughout the world; the more notable ones include, but are not limited to, Israel and Palestine. Although some of the world’s most gruesome wars have been fought on the basis of religion, religious-based conflict is not always violent. It is not uncommon for religious groups to be at odds with one another, directly or indirectly, due to the tendency of each religion to assume the position of being the sole truth. Religious conflict is also a complex phenomenon that involves a combination of domains that oppose other religious ideology or mortality, power, personality, space or place, and group identity. But these contested areas should not be confused with enabling factors or conditions which can be political, social, economic, cultural and psychological.

    This page titled 11.6: Conflict is shared under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Wikibooks - Cultural Anthropology (Wikibooks) .

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