Chapter 4. Resources for moderators, listmasters, DPLs...

Table of Contents

Threats and explicit promises
Repeated events
Conflict resolution

This section contains a list of mostly theoretical resources that could be useful for moderators, listmasters, DPLs and other people who might be in need of extra resource to handle a conflictual situation.

It presents a list of concepts that help in having a better understanding of the situation and the possible ways out.

**Note**: the contents still sound academical and could use being rephrased in an easier language. Help is needed with it.


Conflict is a substantial element in our social life.

Social conflict is an interaction between actors (individuals, groups, organizations, etc), in which at least one actor perceives an incompatibility with one or more other actors, the conflict being in the realm of thought and perceptions, in the realm of emotions or in the realm of will, in a way so that the realization (of one's thoughts, emotions, will) is obstacled by another actor. (Glasl 1977,p.14)

Conflict are thus posed as problems, insatisfactions to which we try to give an answer. The causes of conflicts are many and complex, and much of the possibility of managing them depends on our capacity of analysis and action. Often we quarrel, but apparently for futile things, and sometimes we fall in a vortex that makes things worse and worse and makes us feel more and more bad.

In conflicts, it is very important to have the capactiy of living in difference and sometimes in suffering. In order to dismantle some consolidated behaviours and some wrong habits, one must try to to understand the dynamics and the reality in which they live.

It can be useful to give oneself instruments to analyze the conflicting situations and a common lexicon.

There are four kinds of conflictual action:

  1. People who want to pursue different goals. If they are independent persons, this is not a problem: it becomes a problem when these people are instead bound together by some reason. This can happen in all the situations in which a collective or coordinated action is required. It is called DIVERGENCY. For example, a husband and wife might go in vacation together, but they would prefer different destinations.

  2. In situations in which many actors concur on the exploitation of a limited resource. In this case, the conflict is defined CONCURRENCY. For example, when many shepherds exploit the same free grazing area.

  3. When an actor directs his/her action against the action of another, this is called CREATING OBSTACLES and it's intended to hinder the other in reaching his/her goal.

  4. When the action is directed against another agent and not against the other agent's actions, this is called AGRESSION