Disagreement, Misunderstanding, and Problematic Talk
By (author) David C. Mortensen
Publication date:31 August 2005
Length of book:320 pages
PublisherRowman & Littlefield Publishers
Human Conflict distinguishes between 'effective' and 'ineffective' forms of face-to-face interaction in cases where agreement, disagreement, understanding, or misunderstanding prevail. This well-researched study of miscommunication seeks to identify the basic dynamics at work in encounters that somehow fall short of success in a particularly telling or striking manner. Following an in-depth look at the interplay of cognitive appraisals, value orientations, and social identity in the construction of everyday reality, the book then analyzes social constructions that contribute to a wider ability to fashion working agreements and mutual understanding. It also examines a wide spectrum of encounters where pairs reporting 'hurt and harm' find themselves mutually engaged in strategic mechanisms of repair, renewal, and restoration. Scholars of conflict study, mediators, and others interested in the cognitive processes behind agreement and understanding will want to read this book.
Human Conflict focuses in depth on a . . . significant aspect of interpersonal relationships, namely, the sources and consequences of misunderstanding in such relationships and the role that communication plays. . . . [The author] make[s] a concerted effort to explain points of view even-handedly, regardless of his level of agreement or disagreement with them, and to identify relevant strengths and weaknesses. . . . It represents a labor of love and a commitment to the topic that the author clearly has developed from years of study and thought.