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NCJ Number: 98044 Find in a Library
Title: Bargaining in Family Mediation - Ethical Considerations
Journal: Mediation Quarterly  Issue:4  Dated:(June 1984)  Pages:75-91
Author(s): C M Dibble
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 17
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The role of bargaining in family mediation is discussed from an ethical perspective.
Abstract: To some mediators, bargaining is at the heart of the process; while for others, it has no role at all. By excluding bargaining, mediation may be effective in only a narrow range of family and divorce disputes; by including it, there is a risk of practice being incongruent with professional ideals. One argument against bargaining is that it is alienating and repugnant to family values and life. However, within a framework that views marriage as a contract, bargaining can be viewed positively if it meets three criteria: (1) it is a process of interaction, (2) it tends to produce agreement, and (3) it assumes shared decisionmaking. The second argument against bargaining is that it is egoistic, and that egoism tends to destroy families. However, egoism can act as an antidote against ideology which may serve to conceal interests and feelings. A restrained egoism can work to move self-serving positions toward mutually beneficial ones. It is suggested that mediation can provide conditions under which bargaining need not generate alienation and immoral egoism. While an adequate defense of bargaining will require more research and reasoned argument, an analysis of bargaining can clarify issues and the ethical consequences of mediation. Included are 25 references.
Index Term(s): Conflict resolution; Divorce mediation; Family counseling; Negotiation; Professional conduct and ethics
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