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Ideology and Conflict

 Ideologies are the core values, beliefs of a group


 Ideologies are strongly tied to people’s sense of
self
 Ideologies are in constant flux
 values are often in tension

 ideologies are constantly being interpreted in

the face of changing events


 ideologies are more like guiding strategies than

sets of unchanging principles


Tricia S. Jones, Temple University,
copyright protect, March 2006
Causes of Ideological Conflict
 The perception that one’s core value
set/ideology is being challenged or called
into question
 The belief that someone else’s attempt to
adapt an ideology to changing
circumstances is a threat to the ideology
itself

Tricia S. Jones, Temple University,


copyright protect, March 2006
Ideological and Intractable
Conflict
 Ideological conflicts often become
intractable conflicts
 resistant to being resolved
 original issues are often lost sight of
 high defensiveness
 little open communication

Tricia S. Jones, Temple University,


copyright protect, March 2006
Stages of Intractable Conflict
 Threat
 to core sense of self
 belief that coexistence may not be possible
 Distortion
 incoming information is distorted to maintain core identity
 Rigidification
 perceive other as less than oneself to maintain distance and
dehumanize
 Collusion
 both sides come to need the conflict to maintain their identities
Tricia S. Jones, Temple University,
copyright protect, March 2006
How Can You Handle Ideological
Conflict?
 Seek clarity and agreement on the terms for discussing
ideological differences
 do people agree on the same evidence and information?
 Do people agree to what is authoritative?
 Establish ways that a trusting relationship can exist despite
ideological differences
 recognize ways that coexistence is possible
 learn how to control fear of exploitation and loss of self in
presence of differences

Tricia S. Jones, Temple University,


copyright protect, March 2006