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Course Overview

In everyday life, we are interdependent with others and face many challenges in interpersonal and group situations. The difference or disagreements in perceptions, goals, needs, or interests can lead to conflicts. These conflicts can develop into positive situations that encourage creativity and new dimensions or they can devolve into negative situations that develop destructive and hurtful behaviors. Because such conflicts occur in daily life, it is important to understand the dynamics of conflict, use effective management techniques, and establish and maintain collaborative relationships. In this course we will use theoretical perspectives, case studies, personal experiences, journals, and class activities to examine the roots and nature of conflict, the styles and tactics used to deal with conflict, and the personal and group stakes in conflict. In addition, we will explore methods for analyzing and handling conflict, techniques for creating constructive conflict, uses of third-party interventions, and possibilities for forgiveness, reconciliation, and thinking of ”conflict as magic”.

Prerequisites: COM 324 or permission of the instructor

Program: Communication Studies

Credit: 3

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