The Role of Ideology in the Creation of Conflict

By O'Rourke, Maria | Dispute Resolution Journal, January 1, 2017 | Go to article overview

The Role of Ideology in the Creation of Conflict


O'Rourke, Maria, Dispute Resolution Journal


"To the extent that ideologies are historically necessary they have a validity which is psychological: they organise human masses, and create a terrain on which men move, acquire consciousness of their position, struggle etc."1

(Antonio Gramsci, the Study of Philosophy)

This article will discuss the role of ideology in the creation of a conflict. In the educational setting, it will examine a case study of a child forced to enroll in a Catholic school although his parents' ideological preference would have been the Educate Together model. By analysing this conflict using tools of conflict analysis, and with reference to writings on ideology and conflict, it will demonstrate that incompatibility of ideologies is at the core of the issue and, while the conflict is being played out at a local level, it is fundamentally a systemic issue.

The Oxford Dictionary definition of ideology is "the set of beliefs characteristic of a social group or individual."2 Dagger and Ball define it as:

"a fairly coherent and comprehensive set of ideas that explains and evaluates social conditions, helps people understand their place in society, and provides a program for social and political action."3

Religious beliefs, or indeed a fervent belief in atheism, fits this definition in that they organise people into groups in society united by their set of beliefs and values, which inherently guides them to act socially and politically in a given way. This underpins the conflict examined in this article.

The Irish education system has been, until recently, almost entirely under the control of denominational bodies. With increasing secularism has come a questioning of the accepted "place in society"4 of established churches and their faith-based schools. Newcomers to the education sector, most notably the "Educate Together" movement, have devised a "program for social and political action"5 which involves schools without religious instruction or patronage, founded with the aim:

"To develop and support in Ireland the establishment of schools which are multi-denominational,... co-educational and managed under a system which is predominantly democratic in character, wherever and whenever there is viable support for such a school."6

The Oxford definition of conflict is: "a serious incompatibility between two or more opinions, principles or interests."7 Folger et al expand on this by including the perception of incompatibility in their definition of conflict as:

"the interaction of interdependent people who perceive incompatibility and the possibility of interference from others as a result of this incompatibility."8

While many welcome the values espoused in the faith-based school of their choice and others are ambivalent to it, there is a growing number of people who see the church's influence as interference in a state-funded education system.

A conflictual situation exists where one or more party perceive their interest or goals as being incompatible with the goals/interests of another party.9 In a school setting, the set of values predominant in the school which is manifest in its ethos and protected by law, may well be perceived as being incompatible with the beliefs of some of the students in attendance and their families. Indeed, irrespective of how inclusive the school perceives itself to be, the nature of ethos, as defined by the Oxford Dictionary is "the characteristic spirit of a culture, era, or community as manifested in its attitudes and aspirations."10 Since attitudes and aspirations are always subjective and prone to being conflictual, such conflict is unavoidable in a multicultural society.

Using tools of conflict analysis, this article will examine this conflict focusing particularly on the causes and the underlying ideologies at play. It will also explore the consequences for the parties involved as a result of their ideological differences and the inevitability of such conflict in an Irish education system, with a limited number of school places and newly-acquired multi-culturalism. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Role of Ideology in the Creation of Conflict
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.