Conflict Reconciliation amongst Diverse Populations: An Anthropological Analysis of the Role of Christianity and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa’s Path to Democracy

By Björn Bergström.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

South Africa provides ethnographic models for managing diversity and conflict via the management of meaning within spheres of socio-political upheaval. This analysis presents a transnational ethnographic account of South Africa’s momentous transition from 300 years of apartheid rule to a state of democracy. The peaceful transition amidst political tensions, threats of violence, ethnic divisions, political competition, religious differentiation, and a history of systemic marginalization presents a historic alternative/model for the peaceful management of conflict. This ethnographic analysis addresses some of the specific and general aspects of conflict negotiation amongst highly diverse and differentially represented or invested populations.

Keywords: Anthropology, Socio-cultural, Culture, Conflict, Conflict Resolution, Diversity, South Africa, Social Upheaval, Peace, Nationalism, National Identity, Meaning, Political Identity, National Identity, Religion, Christianity

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp.235-246. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 613.540KB).

Björn Bergström

Doctoral Student, School of Professional Psychology, Portland, Oregon, USA

Bjorn holds Masters degrees in Clinical Psychology and Sociocultural Anthropology. Bjorn is currently working on his doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. Bjorn has researched and presented on various topics relating to scientific approaches to clinical psychology, conflict resolution at the group, organizational and national levels. Bjorn is particularly interested in the role of culture in identity formation, and how social processes contribute to the construction, reconciliation and management of meaning.


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