In this lesson, we’ll discuss three conflict resolution methods, and how we can learn from these more traditional methods and apply them to our contemporary processes.
The specific areas of focus include:
The field of conflict resolution is dynamic and constantly changing, so interveners and researchers are continually learning new things about how to improve processes, as well as introduce new ones.
Some of these processes are really based on traditional conflict resolution methods, one of which is called ho’oponopono.
Ho’oponopono is a traditional Hawaiian conflict resolution method, much like what we would call family group conferencing in the United States.
The method is based on an ancient Hawaiian belief that illness is linked to breaking spiritual laws, and things need to be set right in order for a person to be healed.
Extended family members would come together to mend broken family relations, and this process was considered a form of mental cleansing.
The parties involved would mend their relationships through discussion, prayer, repentance, restitution, and forgiveness.
The United States juvenile justice system now uses a lot of the principles that come from this ancient Hawaiian practice, which is just one way that conflict resolution takes traditional principles and adapts them for a contemporary process.
Somroh samruel comes from Cambodia, and is really like a conciliation process at the village level.
This process has proven to be very effective, particularly in conflicts that involve villagers who don't want to go to the high court. It's also been effective in cases of domestic violence against women.
While somroh samruel involves elders coming together to practice a form of conciliation in the village, some elements of that process have been adapted into the contemporary conciliation methods used in the United States.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is a relatively new form of conflict resolution, but one which is being widely practiced by countries or cultures who have had systematic issues with discrimination or abuse of power.
In this lesson, you learned that as contemporary conflict resolution processes continue to evolve, many of them incorporate or adapt elements of more traditional resolution methods from around the world. Three such methods are ho’oponopono from Hawaii, somroh samruel from Cambodia, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which is well-known because of its use in South Africa, but has also been used in other countries.
You now understand that that all of these methods have contributed certain aspects to the conflict resolution processes used in the United States. The field of conflict resolution is dynamic and always changing, so it’s important to be familiar with the variety of methods in existence.
Source: Adapted from Sophia tutorial by Marlene Johnson.
A traditional Hawaiian conflict resolution method.
A traditional Cambodian conflict resolution process similar to village-scale conciliation.
A conflict resolution process intended to bring understanding and address past events in countries or cultures with a history of systematic conflict or discrimination.