The scope and content of Conflict and Conflict Management derive from some of the most frequently asked questions about the subject. What is social conflict? What are its prominent characteristics and most common forms? Is conflict inevitable? How do social structure and unequal distribution of power affect the prevalence and nature of conflict? Are there positive consequences of conflict? What actions can be taken to prevent conflict? Can conflict be predicted and forestalled?Joseph S. Himes effectively demonstrates that contemporary social science can provide answers to most of these questions. His responses to the questions are drawn from social science literature, theory, and research and are organized around two central issues: the effort to understand social conflict and the task of managing it. Conflict and Conflict Management is divided into two sections, each covering one of these two central issues.The importance of Himes's overview is threefold. In the first place, it unites recent theory and research in a systematic synthesis. Secondly, it grounds the strategies of conflict management in a theory of conflict causation, thus providing a rationale for the strategies discussed. And finally, his work illuminates the study of social conflict by differentiating legitimate from nlegitimate expressions and thus clarifies both the task of analysis and the business of management.
Joseph S. Himes (1908-1992) was a professor emeritus of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His books include The Study of Sociology: An Introduction ; Racial Conflict in American Society ; and Racial and Ethnic Relations.