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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98558 Find in a Library
Title: Emergence of Disputes (From Study of Barriers to the Use of Alternative Methods of Dispute Resolution, P 29-42, 1984 - See NCJ-97339)
Author(s): A D Sarat
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: Vermont Law School
South Royalton, VT 05068
Sale Source: Vermont Law School
Dispute Resolution Project
South Royalton, VT 05068
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Following an examination and analysis of the stages of disputing, the discussion focuses on cultural barriers to disputing and implications for the alternative dispute resolution movement.
Abstract: The emergence of a dispute is a four-stage process in which social troubles are recognized and defined, blame is fixed, demands for redress are made, and those demands are resisted or rejected. The public commitment to formal legal equality through access to justice that lies, in part, behind the alternatives movement, has resulted in efforts to cope with and open access at the later stages of the disputing process where inequalities between parties become more visible and where official institutions are implicated. Access to justice and to dispute resolution are supposed to reduce the unequal distribution of advantages, but paradoxically, both may amplify inequalities: efforts to ensure access to justice once disputes have crystallized may accentuate the effects of inequality at earlier stages (such as recognition of injury) where inequality is harder to detect and correct. Moreover, three cultural phenomena work to discourage disputing: the tendencies to label claimants as troublemakers, to stigmatize those involved in conflict, and to avoid potential retaliation. It is suggested that attention to the processes that discourage disputing may provide insights for fashioning more effective dispute resolution alternatives. The integration of dispute processing mechanisms into ongoing social transactions might facilitate declarations of injury by reducing the costs associated with disputing and by legitimating dispute. A discussion is included.
Index Term(s): Alternative dispute settlement; Conflict resolution; Cultural influences; Dispute processing; Dispute resolution
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