Chinese educators recognize that for their students to take advantage of new opportunities, as well as handle emerging threats in their rapidly changing society, they must learn to manage many conflicts. But Chinese collectivism and valuing harmony may seem to make Western approaches to conflict resolution culturally inappropriate. This article reviews recent research that provides a theoretical foundation for the training of conflict skills among Chinese students. Contrary to common assumptions, studies indicate that Chinese people not only can manage their conflicts openly but they can do so productively and enjoyably. Chinese values need not work against managing conflict. Indeed, when appropriately expressed, Chinese values have been found to promote open, constructive conflict management. These recent studies suggest how Western-based training on cooperative conflict can be modified for effective, culturally acceptable conflict management training in China.
Copyright © 2004 College of Education, The Ohio State University
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