University and Society
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University and Society

Interdependencies and Exchange

Edited by Ágnes Kövér and Gaby Franger

What role can the university play in the broader community or society in which it is embedded? Must it remain segregated in the halls of science and knowledge, which tower above the community? This book examines the growing number of questions and concerns around university-community relations by exploring widely accepted theories and practices and placing them under new light.
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Chapter 6: Acting together – means of creative transformation of social conflict

György Csepeli


In the chapter the author discusses the basic concepts of social conflict, with a special emphasis on the problem of otherness. In the context of the recent migration crisis, the constructs of the stranger, migrant and alien are discussed. The resolution of social conflicts needs special skills to be developed. Some best practices of conflict resolution such as Circles of Tolerance in Hungary, Theater of Witness in Northern Ireland, and Not in Our Town in the US are presented. These practices stimulate students’ interest in the topics and motivate them to act accordingly in their communities and in contemporary society, especially concerning vulnerable groups. The university program introduced here aims to increase students’ awareness and knowledge of adverse social phenomena and their underlying social reasons and possible interventions. The chapter depicts the program that enables students to discuss controversial issues and work with more understanding on related topics, critically examining the theoretical concepts learned in a given context.

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