Bridging Cultural Conflicts: A New Approach for a Changing World / Edition 1

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"This much needed book . . .is a creative, helpful, and hopeful contribution at a time when we are especially challenged to bridge cultures in the pursuit of mutual understanding and peace."
Jimmy Carter, Nobel Peace Laureate

In our global society, challenging conflicts abound in personal, business, government, and international settings. Many of these conflicts are complicated by layers of miscommunication, cultural misunderstandings, and completely different ways of looking at the world. These conflicts cannot be solved by goodwill or sincere intentions alone. In our multicultural world, we need new tools to address gaps in communication and understanding and the conflicts that flow from them.

Bridging Cultural Conflicts answers this need in groundbreaking ways that cut through complexity, replacing confusion with clarity. It introduces mindful awareness, cultural fluency, and conflict fluency as tools for decoding and moving through intercultural conflicts, and for deepening and integrating change. The book shows how fluency with culture and conflict can be learned through attention and practice, just as we would internalize a new language. As fluency is acquired, a process called dynamic engagement is presented to help prevent intercultural conflict, limit its escalation, and transform it into a learning experience.

Michelle LeBaron's approach in Bridging Cultural Conflicts is human, practical, and adaptable to a wide range of interpersonal, community, organizational, and political conflicts. Drawing from her work as an attorney, mediator, scholar, and internationally acclaimed consultant, Michelle combines the dynamism of Western approaches to conflict resolution with the insight and balance of Eastern approaches. In the process, she offers a wide array of creative strategies and usable tools. As we urgently seek better ways to work and live together and to address the issues that divide us, this timely book inspires flexibility, creativity, and hope.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"This book presents the wisdom of LeBaron's years of successful work with conflicts and cultures through insights that are at once both professional and personal. With these approaches, we can transform relationships at home, in our communities, and at work."
— Susan Allen Nan, director, Alliance for Conflict Transformation
Fairfax, Virginia

"Bridging Cultural Conflicts invites us to embrace conflict in the cultural borderlands where fear, discomfort, and unpredictability reign. This remarkable book will challenge you to develop relational capacities that go far beyond the mechanistic assumptions underlying analytical and problem- solving paradigms."
— Mark McCrea, mediator, Minnesota Department of Labor

"LeBaron's compassionate wisdom is required reading, especially for leaders and those seeking a vaccine for a culture glorifying guns, genocide, and fundamentalism, unifying in terror and hatred. To bridge this widening, chaotic chasm, we can learn much from her mindful perception and experience weaving the tapestry of conflict resolution, unifying in peace and grace."
— Daniel Bowling, RESOLVE, Inc.

"This book effectively articulates cross-cultural issues and methods for resolution of conflicts specific to these issues. It is heartwarming to read a book that can be useful immediately and connects the reader to a world of hopeful communications."
— Rosemary Romero, consultant, Sante Fe, New Mexico

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787964313
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/21/2003
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 810,683
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.35 (h) x 1.28 (d)

Meet the Author

Michelle LeBaron is professor of conflict analysis and resolution at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. LeBaron teaches about conflict, culture, and creativity and writes poetry by the sea. She consults with groups and organizations around the world on issues related to diversity, identity, meaning-making, and spirituality. She is the author of Bridging Troubled Waters (Jossey-Bass, 2002).

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Table of Contents

List of Figures.

Foreword (Mohammed Abu-Nimer).


PART ONE: Capacities for Engaging Cultural Conflicts.

1 Bridging Cultures: Uncovering Paths That Connect Us.

2 Cultural Fluency in Conflict: An Overview.

3 Cultural Fluency in Conflict: Currencies and Starting Points.

4 Mindful Awareness as a Path to Cultural Fluency.

5 Conflict Fluency.

6 Engaging Difference.

PART TWO: Practices for Engaging Cultural Conflict.

7 Deepning the Colors: Personal Practces to Help Bridge Differences.

8 Out of the Fire: Interpersonal Practices to Help Bridge Differences.

9 On the Larger Stage: Intergroup Practice to Help Bridge Differences.

PART THREE: Standing in Between: Third Parties and Cultural Conflict.

10 Third-Pary Roles in Cultural Conflict.

PART FOUR: The Way Forward.

11 Stepping into Shared Pictures.



About the Author.


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