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Intercultural Conflict and Mediation: An Intergroup Perspective

Authors


Richard Clément, University of Ottawa, School of Psychology, 136 Jean Jacques Lussier Ottawa, Ontario K2N 6N5, Canada. Internet: rclement@uottawa.ca

Abstract

This study investigates the role of components of intercultural competence in the use of intercultural mediation behaviors. Through the use of the Revised Intercultural Mediation Measure, an instrument revised by the authors, 291 Anglophone and 161 Francophone participants in Canada were asked to indicate their likelihood of employing various mediation strategies to reduce a conflict between two linguistic groups. The results demonstrated that involvement as an intercultural mediator is likely to be initiated by individuals who are members of the same linguistic group as the perpetrator. By virtue of their xenophilic representations of the victimized group, these individuals take on the role of mediator to reduce tension. In contrast, participants from both linguistic groups were unlikely to become involved as a mediator when witnessing members of the in-group being victimized. Furthermore, path analyses revealed that the use of mediation strategies when the in-group was being discriminated against was, at most, limited to endorsing fewer avoidant mediation strategies. The findings are interpreted within the context of research on intergroup relations and discrimination.

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