This book offers educational and psychological perspectives to inform practice and increase options in addressing conflict situations. The first part of the book helps the educator understand the reasons for resistance and ways to prevent it. The second part explains how educators motivate dominant groups to support social justice. This book is an excellent resource for group facilitators, counselors, trainers in classrooms and workshops, professors, teachers, higher education personnel, community educators, and other professionals involved with educating others about diversity and equity.

Preventing and Reducing Resistance

Preventing and reducing resistance

The previous chapter discussed how many sociopolitical and psychological factors underlie the resistance we encounter when discussing social justice issues. Our dominant cultural values, structures, and social climate emphasize competitive individualism, hierarchy, meritocracy, blaming the victim, material benefits, and the denial of differences. These increase people's drive for self-preservation and advancement at the expense of others. Psychologically, fears, pain, cognitive dissonance, and protection of one's self-concept fuel defensiveness. In the long term, we need to work for systemic change to transform the societal beliefs and structures that maintain inequality and create the context for resistance to social justice. In the short term, we can look at how we can reduce the factors that promote defensiveness and resistance.

Resistance is ...

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