Stages of conflict. Sociologists argue that conflict interaction is a normal state of society. After all, any society, regardless of the epoch, is characterized by the presence of confrontational situations. Even when interpersonal interaction is harmonious and based on mutual understanding, clashes are inevitable. In order for confrontations not to destroy the life of society, for social interaction to be adequate, it is necessary to know the main stages in the development of the conflict, which will help identify the time of the emergence of confrontation, effectively smooth out sharp corners in disputes and disagreements. Most psychologists recommend using confrontation as a source of self-learning and life experience. Analysis of the conflict situation allows you to learn more about your own person, the subjects involved in the confrontation and the situation that provoked a confrontation.
Stages of conflict
It is customary to distinguish four concepts of the stage of conflict development: the pre-conflict stage, the conflict itself, the stage of conflict resolution and the post-conflict stage.
So, the main stages of the conflict: pre-conflict stage. It begins with a pre-conflict situation, since any confrontation is first preceded by an increase in tension in the interaction of potential subjects of the conflict process, provoked by certain contradictions. In this case, not all contradictions and not always lead to the emergence of conflict. Only those differences entail a conflict process that is recognized by the subjects of confrontation as the opposition of goals, interests, and values. Tension is a psychological state of individuals, which is hidden until the beginning of the conflict process.
Dissatisfaction is considered one of the key factors causing conflicts.
The accumulation of dissatisfaction due to the status quo or the development of events leads to an increase in tension. A potential subject of conflict, dissatisfied with the objectively formed state of affairs, finds the alleged and real culprits of his dissatisfaction. At the same time, the subjects of a conflict collision experience an understanding of the unsolvability of the confrontation that has formed by the usual methods of interaction. In this way, the problem situation gradually develops into a clear collision. At the same time, a controversial situation exists independently of subjective-objective conditions for a long time, without being transformed directly into a conflict. In order for the conflict process to begin, an incident is needed, that is, a formal pretext for the occurrence of a direct collision of participants. The incident may occur randomly or be provoked by the subject of conflict opposition. Moreover, it can be the result of the natural course of events.
A conflict situation as a stage of conflict development is not always revealed, as often a collision can begin directly from the collision of the parties, in other words, it begins with an incident.
According to the nature of the origin, four types of conflict situations are distinguished: objectively targeted and unfocused, subjectively focused and unfocused.
Conflict situation, as a stage of conflict is created by one opponent or several participants in the interaction and most often is a condition for the emergence of a conflict process.
As mentioned above, for the occurrence of an immediate collision, the presence of an incident is necessary along with the confrontational situation. At the same time, the situation of confrontation is born before the incident (incident). It can be formed objectively, that is, outside the desire of people, and subjectively, due to the motives of behavior, the conscious aspirations of the opposing participants.
The main stages of conflict development are conflict itself.
The beginning of the apparent confrontation of participants is a consequence of the conflict-based behavioral response style, which refers to actions aimed at the confronting party for the purpose of seizing, holding the object of the dispute or forcing the opponent to change their intentions or renounce them.
There are four forms of conflict style of behavior:
- challenge or active-conflict style;
- answer to the challenge or passive-conflict style;
- conflict-compromise model;
- compromise behavior.
The confrontation acquires its own logic and development depending on the problematic attitude and the style of conflicting behavioral responses of the participants. The developing confrontation is characterized by a tendency to form additional reasons for its own aggravation and growth. Therefore, each confrontation has its own stages of conflict dynamics and is to some extent unique.
Confrontation can develop in two scenarios: enter the phase of escalation or pass it. In other words, the dynamics of a collision at the stage of conflict is denoted by the term escalation, which is characterized by an increase in the destructive actions of the opposing parties. Conflict escalation can often lead to irreversible consequences.
Usually there are three main stages of conflict dynamics, resulting in this stage:
- the escalation of opposition from a latent form into an open clash of opponents;
- further increase (escalation) of the conflict;
- The confrontation reaches its peak and takes the form of a general war, in which they do not shun any means.
At the last stage of the conflict, development proceeds as follows: the conflicting participants "forget" the real causes of the conflict. For them, the main goal is to cause maximum damage to the enemy.
The main stages of conflict development is the resolution of confrontation.
The intensity and duration of the confrontation depends on a variety of conditions and factors. At a certain stage in the confrontation of the opposing participants, the opinion about their own potential and about the capabilities of an opponent can change significantly. That is, the time has come for "reassessment of values", due to the updated, arising from the conflict, relationships, awareness of the exorbitant "cost" of success or inability to achieve goals. This pushes opponents to the transformation of tactics and style of conflict opposition. At this stage, one of the opposing sides, or both, strive to find ways to resolve the problem situation, as a result, as a rule, the intensity of the struggle is declining. This is where the process of ending the conflict interaction begins. However, this does not exclude a new aggravation.
The final stage of confrontation is after the conflict.
Ending directly the confrontation of opponents does not always signify a complete resolution of the confrontation. In many respects, the degree of satisfaction of the subjects of conflict interaction or dissatisfaction of the participants with the "concluded peace agreements" is characterized by dependence on the following provisions:
- whether the goal pursued by the conflict has been achieved and how satisfied is it;
- by what means and methods was the confrontation conducted;
- how great is the damage of the parties (for example, material);
- how high is the degree of infringement of the dignity of opponents;
- whether it was possible to eliminate the emotional stress of the participants during the conclusion of the peace;
- what methods were the basis of the negotiation interaction;
- as far as it was possible to coordinate the interests of the participants;
- whether the compromise solution was imposed as a result of coercion or was the result of the mutual finding of a way to resolve the collision;
- what is the reaction of the social environment to the results of the conflict.
Stages of social conflict
Taking a direct part in the confrontation, it is rather difficult to disengage and think about something else, because often the divergence of views can be quite sharp. At the same time, observers of confrontation can easily identify the main stages of social conflict. Sociologists usually disagree on the number of stages of social opposition. But all of them are similar in the definition of social confrontation. In a narrow sense, social confrontation is called confrontation, caused by disagreements of social communities in justifying work activity, in general, deterioration of the economic condition and status status or in comparison with other teams, decrease in the level of satisfaction with joint activities. A characteristic feature of social opposition is the existence of an object of confrontation, the possession of which is associated with the frustration of individuals involved in social confrontation.
The main stages of social conflict: latent (hidden increase of discontent), the peak of social tension (a clear expression of opposition, active actions of participants), the resolution of a collision (reduction of social tension by overcoming the crisis).
The latent stage marks the beginning of the conflict. Often it is even invisible to the casual observer. All actions of this stage are developing at the social and psychological level.
Examples of the conflict stage are generation (conversations in smoking rooms or cabinets). The growth of this phase can be traced by a number of indirect signs. At the latent stage of the conflict, examples of symptoms can be cited as follows: an increase in the number of absenteeism, layoffs.
This stage can be quite lengthy.
The peak phase is a critical confrontation point. At the peak of the conflict course, the interaction between the opposing sides reaches extreme sharpness and intensity. It is important to be able to identify the passage of this point, since the situation of confrontation after its peak, as a rule, is manageable. At the same time, sociologists argue that interfering with a collision in the peak phase is useless, often even dangerous.
At the peak stage of the conflict, examples include the following: armed mass uprisings, territorial divisions of powers, strikes.
The extinction of confrontation occurs as a result of either the exhaustion of the resources of one of the parties involved, or the achievement of an agreement.