Conflict Metaphor-Gaming the Conflict

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By calchas11
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Conflict Meaphor
Gaming the Conflict

Gaming the Conflict In Western culture, sports metaphors are ubiquitous, and this includes language involving conflict. Use of sports language can cut through a lot of verbiage to convey easily understood concepts. This works well when the other parties in conflict are mutually acquainted with the culture and language of sport. If a metaphor cannot be understood by all parties it is inappropriate to accurately frame the conflict or concept (Emery, 2010). Sports metaphors often have the following characteristics: • Assumes a defeat for one of the parties involved in the conflict. • Implies working within a well-understood set ground rules for engagement. • Presumes strategic planning or finesse can accomplish objective(s). To assume a defeat for one of the parties in conflict can preclude the possibility of a win-win option. While sports metaphors are generally used in the context of a winner and a loser, they can also impart an implied opportunity (Wilmot & Hocker, 2014). Competing for position or ideas can also include the possibility for a satisfactory resolution for all parties. At The United States Institute of Peace Sports and Peacebuilding Symposium, participants explored sports contributions to peacemaking efforts and the effectiveness of sports metaphors. It was recognized that “Sports speaks a language of its own that can be translated seamlessly from one culture to another” (Perreault, 2010). Terms like dancing in the end zone, home court advantage, or a decisive blow, all imply a single focus for a victory over an opponent. On the other hand, to be on a level playing field, in the huddle, or in formation, implies a collaborative effort to resolving a conflict. When using a sports metaphor we assume that the other parties involved are working within an…...

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