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Conflict and Power

Conflict and Power Student’s Name Institutional Affiliation Introduction In most conflicts evidenced in the society power plays a critical role. In fact power is one of the important variables when studying conflicts (Van Evera 2013). One might wonder what power really is. The term ‘power’ describes intentional influence over behaviors beliefs and emotions of people. However the concept of power is ubiquitous as without it (influence) people would neither have cooperation nor society. In the absence of leadership (power) in various activities like technological organizational medical financial political and spiritual humankind would never have attained the living standards it has today. Nevertheless most problems with power arise from the goals of those individuals with power and the means they utilize as opposed to possession of power. Conflicts Between Law Enforcement and Community Members In the contemporary society conflicts between members of the community and law enforcement have escalated. Typically It is not the possession of power that gives rise to conflict but the goals of those people with power and the means they employ. The lack of understanding and increased hostility between the police and communities arises from the way each perceives power. Besides the perception of power can also impact conflict resolution as each perceives each other as more powerful. Therefore when resolving conflicts it is important to address such underlying perceptions. References Desmond M. Papachristos A. V. & Kirk D. S. (2016). Police violence and citizen crime reporting in the black community. American Sociological Review  81(5) 857-876. Deutsch M. Coleman P. T. & Marcus E. C. (Eds.). (2011). The handbook of conflict resolution: Theory and practice. John Wiley & Sons. Reed I. A. (2013). Power: Relational discursive and performative dimensions. Sociological Theory  31(3) 193-218. Van Evera S. (2013). Causes of war: Power and the roots of conflict. Cornell University Press.
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Explain how individual perceptions of power can create conflict situations between law enforcement and members of a community. Use the relational theory of power to explain how perceptions affect the ability to resolve conflict. Then, identify a conflict resolution strategy and predict the outcome.
• Describe the factors or conditions that contribute to conflict situations between law enforcement and citizens.
• Explain how perceptions of power may contribute to conflict situations between law enforcement and members of a community. Be sure you consider the perceptions of both the police and individual citizens.
• Use the relational theory of power to explain how perceptions of power affect the ability to resolve police–community conflict.
• Identify strategies you believe might be effective in reducing or resolving conflicts between police and communities.
• Choose one strategy and determine the likely outcome.

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