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Face-To-Face at Arm's Length: Conflict Norms and Extra-Group Relations in Grassroots Dialogue Groups

Research has shown that internal relations in small groups are affected by members' relationship to the external world and the extent to which groups focus their efforts on extra-group relations. This article describes the conflict norms used to manage intra-group relations by members of a grassroots dialogue group in the U.S. whose members – US Jews, Palestinians, and others – came together to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

As the group's focus changed from internally-oriented conflict resolution to externally-oriented social movement mobilization, (a) adherence to these norms frustrated their attempts at mobilizing a peace movement in their home communities, and (b) intra-group relations became more problematic.

This article demonstrates the importance of understanding the relationship between intra-group relations and members' extra-group relations with their home communities.

Amy S. Hubbard

Human Organization. Fall 1997, 56:3. (1997)

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