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Skidmore College
First-Year Experience

Scribner Seminar Program
Course Description

We Can Work it Out: Studying Methods of Conflict Resolution

Instructor(s): David Karp, Sociology

The United States is a deeply divided society. Conflict is all around us. We often fail to resolve our conflicts. Sometimes they are resolved violently. How are they resolved peacefully? We might say that most social rituals, ceremonies, rules, and laws were created to regulate and soften social conflict. Drawing upon the disciplines of history, psychology, anthropology, sociology, social work, education, and political science, we will study the nature of conflict, spending quite a bit of time focusing on “conflict analysis. ” Conflict analysis includes the study of interpersonal conflict and the roles that personal identity, values, and emotions play in these types of conflict. Conflict analysis also includes intergroup conflict, and we will look at race relations, party politics, ethnic and religious violence, and strategies for peacebuilding and reconciliation in the aftermath of war and genocide. Beyond conflict analysis, we will also study and practice various techniques of conflict resolution, especially focusing on conflict coaching, mediation, and restorative justice.


Course Offered: