Department of Pre-University Education, KarnatakaPUC Karnataka Science Class 12
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What Are Some of the Causes of Intergroup Conflict? Think of Any International Conflict. Reflect on the Human Price of this Conflict. - Psychology

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Answer in Brief

What are some of the causes of intergroup conflict? Think of any international conflict. Reflect on the human price of this conflict.

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Conflict is a process in which either an individual or a group perceives that the others have opposite interest, and both try to contradict each other.

In such conflicts intense feeling of ‘We’ and ‘They’ dominate.

Both the groups believe that only their group (in group) will protect their interest.Individual group conflict occurs when the individuals, needs are different from the group’s needs, goals or norms. Inter group conflict refers to the situation of conflict between groups. It often occurs to maintain the identity of the group different and stronger than the other groups.

Some Major Reasons for Group Conflicts :-

1. One major reason is lack of communication and faulty communication between both parties. This kind of communication leads to suspicion, i.e., there is a lack of trust, and hence, conflict results.

2. Another reason for inter group conflict is relative deprivation. It arises when members of a group compare themselves with the members of another group, and L perceive that they do not have what they desire to have, which the other group has.

In other words, they feel that they are not doing well in comparison to other groups. This may lead to feelings of deprivation and discontentment, which may trigger conflict.

3. Another cause of conflict arises when one party believes that it is better than the other, and what it is saying should be done. When this does not happen, both parties start accusing each other.

4. A feeling that the other group does not respect the norms of my group, and actually violates those norms, can cause conflict.

5. Desire for retaliation for some harm done in the past could be another reason for conflict.

6. Biased perceptions are at the root of most conflicts.

7. Research has shown that when acting in groups, people are more competitive as well as more aggressive than when they are on their own. Groups compete over scarce resource, both material resources (e.g., territory) and money as well as social resources (e.g., respect and esteem).

8. Perceived inequality is another reason for conflict.

9. According to Gardener Murphy most conflicts begin in the minds of men and then go to the field.

Gardener Murphy, in his book ‘In the Minds of Men’, explains intergroup conflicts at three levels :-

(a) Structural Level :- It includes high rates of poverty, economic and sound stratification, inequality, limited political and social opportunity, e.g., Tribal areas of Jharkhand and West Bengal becoming fertile ground for Naxal movement.

(b) Group Level :- Social identity, realistic conflict between groups over resources and unequal power relations between groups lead to conflicts, e.g., Dalits in India or Women Empowerment Movement.

(c) Individual Level :- It includes beliefs, biased attitudes and personality characteristics. These are important determinants.

Concept: Intergroup Conflict : Nature and Causes
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NCERT Class 12 Psychology
Chapter 7 Social Influence and Group Processes
Exercise | Q 10 | Page 150
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