Essay Sample on Reducing Intergroup Conflict

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  582 Words
Date:  2022-07-01


Bringing people from different backgrounds, tastes and diverse opinions together is bound to cause conflicts. The steps taken to handle these conflicts and the different opinions arising from a group has a significant impact on the amount of conflict that will be experienced in future. As a counselor in a delinquent adolescent boys' detention center, I am aware that it is my responsibility to allow and adapt to the boys' feelings, listen to their concerns, and embrace their ideas. The first strategy is to respect and honor their diversity by recognizing their diverse backgrounds, opinions, and ideas. Each of them will be given an opportunity to be heard. Secondly, I will allow open and frequent communication among the boys. Opening clear communication lines involve carrying out regular discussions and meetings with the boys to allow them share their concerns and ideas.

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I will also be inclined to accept and adapt to all the opinions and ideas of the group members. This way, I will succeed in maintain a sense of connection and respect with the boys and encourage them to do them same amongst themselves. Since the majority of the boys are drawn from local gangs, I will sometimes be forced to confront their conflicts head-on and not trying to avoid it when a problem emerges. These strategies are in tandem with Hewstone's article that outlines the social and psychological components of intergroup biases and respective approaches that can be taken to reduce them (Hewstone, Rubin, & Willis, 2002).

According to the strategies to Hewstone, Rubin, & Willis, (2002), the reduction of intergroup conflicts can either be approached by direct and indirect approaches. Direct approaches are the motivational based processes that seek to explicitly reduce bias. Individuals who always fall victims to different kinds of prejudices should recognize the differences that exist between their personal values and their response mechanism to minority members. The authors, however, warn that the approach lay more emphasis on the good intentions of individuals with low prejudices in addition to demanding appropriate effort, practice, and awareness levels. On the other hand, indirect approaches are pegged on emotional and cognitive aspects of behavior. They give an example of empathy that reduces anxiety and threat over membership interactions within the group.

To help these boys overcome conflict and learn how to work together, respect one another, and appreciate their diverse backgrounds, I will initiate certain programs and activities within their detention camps. My proposed programs include living garden project, daily diversity video, group fear share, and talent show. A living garden project will be an engagement program that would operate under the concepts of unity, earning, self-esteem, patience, reaping what one sows, spirituality, and reward. The group share fear program will help the young men regard their individual fears about gangs, vulnerability, empathy, and trust. It will encourage bonding as well. Through the daily diversity video, a video segment of each group member will be shown to the rest to illustrate their stories and backgrounds and how they have achieved some victory irrespective of the societal hurdles. It boosts self-worth, personal goal-setting, shared morale, and identification. Each video session will be followed by a short discussion by the group members about their demonstrated cultural ideas. Meanwhile, the talent show will be designed to bring out the boys' special gifts in sports, music, drama and any other area of interest. It boosts courage, intimacy, and openness.


Hewstone, M., Rubin, M., & Willis, H. (2002). Intergroup Bias. Annual Review of Psychology, 53, 575-604.

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