Academic journal article Journal of Comparative Family Studies

The Art of Managing Everyday Conflict

Academic journal article Journal of Comparative Family Studies

The Art of Managing Everyday Conflict

Article excerpt

Fisher, Eric E. and Stephen, Sharp. THE ART OF MANAGING EVERYDAY CONFLICT. Praeger Publishers, Westport, CT, 2004,256 pp. $ 22.99 hardcover.

The book wants to create understanding of emotions and power struggles and that's the core idea of this text. The relation between personal emotions and power in everyday interaction systems, especially in the family, and the way how this creates conflict and how one can work with those conflicts that are the main issues of this book. The data come mainly from behaviourism, from experiments with animals, on one side and a lot of knowledge from the psychotherapeutical practice the authors have on the other side. In this way they write more or less a self help book.

For a scientific reader there are not many really new insides. That a lot of emotions are described and good ones and bad ones are distinguished which results in a sentence on page 110 "we need each emotion in our life" is not a very deep analytical idea. The book wants to give guidance for behaviour to the reader. The term "family" is used in a very special way.

It is not at all a common understanding that intact families are those where both genetic parents are present at home as the author stresses in page 125.

Examples given by partnerships in the office or by discussing and analyzing the discussion between a mother and a schoolboy (page 195) are showing power struggles, which are explained by emotions. …

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