Polly Walker


In cross-cultural conflict resolution, we may be faced with more than one conceptualisation of what it means to be human. Mainstream Western culture, which underlies most academic research and professional practice in Australia and the US, defines the individual as self-contained, a unit that can be legitimately analysed apart from other people. Many indigenous cultures define the individual as ‘self-inrelation’, consisting of a network of relationships, including extended family, community and ancestors, set in a time framework that includes past, present and future, and able to be analysed appropriately only by considering this network of relationships. How do these differences in worldview impact upon conflict resolution?