3. arbitration and conciliation,
6. sublimation, and
But these are not mutually exclusive and are very often found in combination.
1. Yielding to Coercion:
Coercion involves the use of force or the threat of force for making the weaker party to accept the conditions of agreement. This can take place when the parties are of unequal strength. It implies the existence of the weak and the strong in any conflict.
For example, slavery is an arrangement in which the master dominates the servant. Similarly, in wars the victorious nation imposes its will on the vanquished. Various political dictatorships are also instances of coercive accommodation in which a strong minority group which seizes political power imposes its will on the masses.
When the contending parties are almost equal in power they attain accommodation by means of compromise. In compromise each party to the dispute makes some concessions and yields to some demand of the other.
The “all or nothing” attitude gives way to a willingness to give up certain points in order to gain others. Certain international agreements and management- labour agreements on wages, hours of work, are examples of compromise.
3. Arbitration, Mediation and Conciliation:
When the contending parties themselves are not able to resolve their differences they may resort to arbitration. Arbitration is a device for bringing about compromise in which a third party (who may be chosen by both the sides) tries to bring about an end to the conflict. Here the decision of the third party is binding on both the parties. Labour-management disputes, some political disputes are often resolved in this way.
Mediation is more akin to arbitration. This involves the introduction into the conflict of a neutral agent whose efforts are directed towards bringing about a peaceful settlement. But the mediator has no power to settle the conflict as such for his decisions are not binding on the parties. His function is advisory only. In religious and industrial disputes mediators and arbitrators are commonly used.
Closely related to compromise is conciliation. This is an attempt to persuade the disputants to develop friendship and to come to an agreement. Conciliation has been used in industrial, racial and religious struggles. Conciliation implies a milder response to an opponent than coercion. In the end, conciliation, like toleration opens the door to assimilation.
Toleration is another form of accommodation in which the conflicts are avoided rather than settled or resolved. Toleration or tolerant participation is an outgrowth of the “live-and- let-live” policy. It is a form of accommodation without formal agreement.
Here there is no settlement of difference but there is only the avoidance of overt conflict. Each group tries to bear with the other. The groups realise that their differences are irreconcilable. Hence they decide to coexist with their differences. Racial groups, caste groups, political groups wedded to mutually opposite ideologies for example, resort to toleration.
This form of accommodation involves a sudden rejection of one’s beliefs, convictions and loyalties, and the adoption of others. This term is ordinarily used in the religious context to refer to one’s conversion into some other religion.
The concept is now used in the literary, artistic, economic, political and other fields. In the political fields, in India now the change of party affiliation and ideological conviction has become very common.
Adjustment by means of sublimation involves the substitution of non-aggressive attitudes and activities for aggressive ones. It may take place at the individual as well as at the group level. The method suggested by Jesus Christ, Gandhiji and most of the religious prophets to conquer violence and hatred by love and compassion, is that of sublimation.
This involves plausible excuses or explanations for one’s behaviour. One is not prepared to acknowledge one’s failures or defects for it may indicate guilt or the need for change. Hence one blames others for one’s own fault. By ascribing one’s failures to others instead of accepting one’s own defects, one can retain self-respect.
Thus a student who fails in the examination for his negligence of studies may put the blame on teachers or valuators of answer papers. Even groups also try to justify their action on purely imaginary grounds.
For example, Nazi Germany which initiated the Second World War dubbed the. Allies as aggressors and held them responsible for the war. In the same way, United States justified its participation. In the First World War under the pretext of “Saving the World for Democracy”.
Need for Accommodation:
It is clear from the above that accommodation assumes various forms. Without accommodation social life could hardly go on. Since conflict disturbs social integration, disrupts social order and damages social stability, in all societies efforts are made to resolve them at the earliest.
Accommodation checks conflicts and helps persons and groups to maintain cooperation. It enables persons and groups to adjust themselves to changed functions and statutes which are brought about by changed conditions. It helps them to carry on their life activities together even with conflicting interests.
It is a means of resolving conflict without the complete destruction of the opponent. It makes possible cooperation between antagonistic or conflicting elements or parties. Hence it is often called “antagonistic cooperation”. Thus two or more conflicting political parties may come together to forge a union to defend a third party. Accommodation may take place at personal or social level.