Johnny Chan

A Cross-discipline Study in the School of Health and Education:
Examining Interpersonal Conflict in College Life Through Collective Cultural Lens

In this study, a model is proposed that shows how individuals can better understand interpersonal conflict through the lens of cultural factors, specifically that of a collectivist culture. Viewing issues through a lens that considers cultural factors is important as there have been tremendous cultural shifts in values, lifestyle and language globally, especially in multicultural countries like Canada, the United States and Australia. Nevertheless, even though there have been numerous studies on the cultural elements of conflict, few recommendations have been made that address the interpersonal conflicts of students in a college environment. Traditionally, many interpersonal conflict studies have been focused on family relation or organizational behavior. For an approach for college students, the conflict study in an education setting anticipates a new understanding of how collectivist students are reluctant on some norms such as genuine dialogue when they respond to conflict. Secondly, students can benefit from the reflection process in the study for a better self-awareness where it is a good preparation before entering the workplace.

Supervisors: Professor Paul Gibbs & Dr Alex Elwick