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Borbála Fellegi’s presentation on the Hungarian Sociological Association’s conference

2011. 12. 03.


This year, the Hungarian Sociological Association held its annual conference and general meeting between the 11. and 13. of November in the Sociological Institute of Miskolc University. The title this year was: „Collective traumas, border situations, natural and social disasters”.

Foresee’s executive participated in the roundtable program of the Sociopolitical Discussion Workshop with a presentation entitled: „ The complexity of conflict management, the tools of the anti-discrimination movement in Hungary and abroad”. The section was in great interest and numerous people constantly participated in the roundtable discussions in the previously announced four topics.

Borbála Fellegi’s presentation introduced the social conflict management work of Foresee, and the results of related researches.

The presentation emphasized the fact that social conflict management is a process, that the first meeting amongst the parties is only a tiny piece of the process that goes from searching, inviting, preparation through sharing needs and organizing additional meetings goes all the way to follow-ups. The longetivity , intensivity depends mostly on the state of the affected community. That means that solutions have to be worked out individually for each case and in close cooperation with the community.In the conflicts labeled as discrimination, neutral mediation is extremely hard, since discrimination is a phenomenon of symptoms, and mentioning it will cause the other party (accused of discrimination) to be defensive and self-justifying rather than help an honest conversation. Conflicts are often labeled „ethnical” although in most of the cases the conflict is based around living together. While the first is heavily loaded with values and it is hard to create a discussion about it, the latter can be helped by restorative circles, meetings, sharing emotions, and getting to know each other in general. Finally, it has been stated that the most important task of conflict management is to work with people, not representatives. The task of the facilitator is to ask the parties to share their own subjective feelings and thoughts with each other, because that is the only way success can be achived. In comparison, when representation and different group goals come into play, constructive discussion becomes significantly harder, closing in and responsibility avoidance becomes more frequent, since there is an opportunity to „hide” behind the mask of the represented group.The bottom line is, that everything has to be started on the micro level, even though it might take more time, and does not guarantee change on the macro level, but at least anything that happens is personal and honest.

The roundtable discussion about conflict management sparked quite a dispute: as the insufficiency of the research and intervention at Gyöngyöspata clearly indicated, in order to create a non-violent discussion aiming to understand each other, one needs strong social support in local matters as well a sin big politics.

Borbála Fellegi’s earlier summary on the subject can be found here.

Fellegi Borbála egy korábbi összefoglalója a témában itt található.

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