First Advisor

Barbara Tint

Date of Publication

Summer 10-7-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Conflict Resolution


Conflict Resolution




Identity (Psychology), College students -- Social aspects, Intergroup relations, Interpersonal conflict, Interpersonal communication



Physical Description

1 online resource (vii, 91 pages)


An individual's struggle with "self," which consists of personal identity and social identity, can create both intra- and interpersonal conflict. In this study, I explored how such struggles inform identity-based conflict and how such conflicts are addressed by intergroup dialogue. A dialogue was conducted with University students, consisting of discussions about participants' struggles with "self" and social identity. These conversations were analyzed using a mixed methods and content analysis approach. The study revealed that identities such as gender play significant roles in creating conflict within "self" and with others. National origin, race, and ethnicity also affect personal identity; however, these identities have greater influence on participants' relationships with others. Four different stages of dialogue were crucial in determining changes in the perceptions of participants. It was learned that dialogue helped participants to give new meaning to their identities. Individual "self"--personal identity--defines each person's ability to understand others, not the social identity. Participants reported their level of trust, openness, and willingness to engage with people not from their own identity group increased and improved because of their participation in the dialogue. Therefore, dialogue can be a valuable tool to understand and transform identity-based conflicts.


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Persistent Identifier