Conflict and Morals

  • Susan Opotow
Part of the Issues in Children’s and Families’ Lives book series (IICL, volume 5)


Youth conflicts can range from fleeting quarrels to more enduring antipathies expressed as violence toward individuals or groups. These conflicts can inflict physical and psychological harm, and when they fester, they can siphon off energy from more productive activities. However, conflicts also have positive potential. They can surface urgent concerns and motivate positive change by stimulating individuals, groups, or organizations to approach issues with fresh insight. Conflicts challenge us to be sufficiently attentive to learn from the dissonant understandings that give rise to conflicts and to be sufficiently skilled to resolve them constructively. This chapter argues that for adults and organizations that seek to nurture morality in youths, conflicts can be an underappreciated and valuable resource.


Social Norm Moral Judgment Moral Rule Norm Violation Conflict Process 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

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  • Susan Opotow

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