The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Peace and Conflict Studies

Living Edition
| Editors: Oliver Richmond (Editor-in-Chief), Gëzim Visoka (Editor-in-Chief)

Culture and Conflict Resolution

Living reference work entry


At its simplest, culture refers to socially inherited and learned ways of living shared by persons as members of social groups. “Groups” differ greatly in scale – from a family or clan to a nation-state – and overlap and intersect. Thus, for any one person, culture is never singular or monolithic. Persons “carry” multiple cultures, which overlap, intersect, and sometimes exist in tension with each other. Elements of culture, “cultural markers” such as customs, language, religion, race, ethnicity, or social class, are important sources of social identity, anchoring personal identity (psychological coherence and security), and demarcating boundaries of group membership (Tajfel and Turner 1986).

Culture is connected to conflict, and conflict resolution, in four main ways. To some extent these call forth different approaches to analysis and different strategies for conflict resolution. Firstly, “socially inherited and learned ways of living” are not universal or identical...

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Further Reading

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School for Conflict Analysis and ResolutionGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Sandra Pogodda
  • Gëzim Visoka
    • 1
  • Oliver Richmond
    • 2
  1. 1.Dublin City UniversityDublinIreland
  2. 2.The University of ManchesterManchesterUK