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Law and Society - Essay Example

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In his letter, “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” the rationale for participating in a march in Birmingham. He expounded on several approaches to conflict management and then justifies why his movement has chosen the one he calls, “direct action”. …
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Law and Society
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Download file to see previous pages He expounded on several approaches to conflict management and then justifies why his movement has chosen the one he calls, “direct action”. In this regard, the essay will be used to analyze the conflict management approaches presented by Donald Black. Forms of Conflict Management Discuss and define the 3 approaches: From the lecture notes on Law as Social Control, there are three general approaches to resolving conflict are categorized into unilateral, bilateral and through third party. The unilateral form actually focuses on toleration where it was noted that the victim is perceived to be socially inferior or estranged from the offender. The bilateral form is parallel with applying negotiation techniques where both parties are deemed of equal status and seek some form of agreement or arrangement to settle their conflicts that would be amenable to both. Finally, if despite all resolutions techniques have been exhausted and conflicts remain unresolved, the third-party settlement form requires seeking a neutral third party (not affiliated to any of the offending nor offended parties) to evaluate the issue and arrive at the most appropriate solution. Description of Circumstances for Application of Conflict Management Forms Using Donald Black’s article, entitled “Crime as Social Control”, the forms of conflict management are: toleration, negotiation, settlement, law and self-help. Self-help was defined by Black (1983) as “the expression of a grievance by unilateral aggression such as personal violence or property destruction” (p. 34). Law, on the other hand, was noted as a form of governmental social control (Black, 1983, p. 41). His focus was to present law and self-help as forms of conflict management that functions more as social control mechanisms. Using these forms of conflict management in the case of King, from the circumstances relayed in his letter, he clearly noted the application of a rational four step process in his nonviolent campaign in conflict management, to wit: “collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self-purification; and direct action” (King, 1963, p. 1). But evidently, the form of unilateral form of conflict management was applied when toleration was upheld for the longest time. King averred that “we have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights” (King, 1963, p. 3). Since he acknowledged that colored people have been discriminated and prejudiced for so long exemplifying the inferior status socially imposed, this form was therefore eventually rejected as effective and applicable. The bilateral form of conflict management had been applied when King noted that negotiations were apparently tried but proven ineffective. As proven, there were negotiations (or supposedly agreed upon settlements) made between the leaders of the Birmingham’s economic community and the Negro citizens in terms of removing racial signs in merchants’ stores, for instance. Apparently, these leaders and merchants failed to comply with the promise as few signs were briefly removed but return eventually and others were not removed at all (King, 1963, p. 2). Therefore, ordinary negotiations were proven to be ineffective and were arbitrarily rejected by King. Likewise, the direct action through demonstrations were a call for further negotiations possible seeking third party infusion to resolve the conflict by invoking public protests to make others aware that there is a need to bring justice and equality to the oppressed. This option was regarded as the best course of action for reasons identified and justified below. Law intercedes in King’s quest for conflict resolution through admitting that their direct action do no violate any persisting law or ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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