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Confectionery and Conflict Resolution? What Chocolat Reveals about Mediation

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Abstract:

A close analysis of the film Chocolat discloses a new metaphor for the mediator — the mediator as cook. The use of this metaphor throughout the film suggests new insights about mediator style and practice. Specifically, the mediator–protagonist in Chocolat demonstrates that: (1) mediations need not be voluntary to be sound, (2) non-neutral, directive, evaluative mediators can be effective if they individualize their approaches to each disputant and dispute, and (3) effective approaches to mediation celebrate emotion and pleasure, contrary to many conflict resolution theorists who write about the importance of emotions, but do not privilege them in practice.

Keywords: conflict resolution; film; mediation; metaphors

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1571-9979.2006.00101.x

Publication date: July 1, 2006

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