Integral Review

A Transdisciplinary and Transcultural Journal For New Thought, Research, and Praxis

Posts Tagged ‘AQAL’

Developing an Inclusive Perspective for a Diverse College: Inclusion = Diversity + Engagement

Cheryl Whitelaw

This article describes a project at the NorQuest College Center for Intercultural Education to develop an inclusion model for a post-secondary, two-year college. Inclusion = Diversity + Engagement is a model for action based on the integration of integral theory, particularly the all quadrants component of the AQAL model by Ken Wilber and the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity by Dr. Milton Bennett. The author views inclusion as a perspectival phenomenon, socially constructed; a culture of inclusion is, in part, founded on perspective seeking behaviors. Within the model, the focus for translative and transformative change is guided by the Intercultural Competence Stretch Goals document, a map created by the author and her project collaborators to identify selected attitudes, knowledge and skills to support more inclusive communication behaviors. The model is informed by concepts arising out of discourse on inclusion and intercultural competence, specifically on a capacity for perspective taking within a Canadian socio-cultural surround. Within the context of a college with identifiable diversity in terms of country of origin, languages spoken, race, ethnocultural origin including First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples and the level of ability requiring supports (for physical and/or learning challenges), this article describes an organizational change project sparked by an applied research study to create the Inclusion = Diversity + Engagement model and the organizational change initiatives that flowed out of the model. The applied research question asked: “In what ways might Student Services enhance intercultural communication skills during face-to-face interactions with students.” We found a need to focus on the enhancement of intercultural communication skills based on a primarily ethnocentric, minimization worldview for student services staff. Specific skills included developing a deeper understanding of staff’s own worldview with a focus on identifying preferred communication styles and practicing less familiar, less comfortable styles. We also found a need to practice perspective taking to increase staff capability to check for inclusion in service interactions. Results were used to design inclusion training; the project evolved to develop an integrally informed inclusion map. These organizational change initiatives are continuing through an ongoing inclusion focus at NorQuest College in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Although written from a single author perspective, I want to acknowledge the project team members and the community of participants that engaged in this project from project proposal to ongoing inclusion initiatives.

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Correcting Improper Uses of Perspectives, Pronouns, and Dualities in Wilberian Integral Theory: An Application of Holarchical Field Theory

Kevin J. Bowman

Abstract: This article uses my pre-existing extension of Wilberian metatheory, holarchical field theory, to diagnose and work towards overcoming the confusion within attempts to analyze action, events, and communication using Ken Wilber’s AQAL model. In holarchical field theory, holarchical fields become the fundamental component of reality. These fields comprise 1) holons in relation to one another and to their potential, and 2) their interpenetrating forces engaged by their interactions. In light of the theory, problems in the Wilberian literature have included inconsistent uses of certain dualities (subject-object, interior-exterior, and inside-outside) as well as person perspectives and pronouns. Previous attempts to overcome these issues without precise diagnoses suffer from a conflation of the dual definitions of the subjective-objective duality, one a philosophical definition, the other grammatical. State versus action language is classified within the dualities of holarchical field theory.

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Metatheory Building in the Conflict Field

Karim Fathi

Extended Abstract in English

Given the increasingly complex nature of conflicts, a corresponding increase of new methods can be observed in Peace and Conflict Studies. At this juncture, metatheories aimed at integrating this labyrinth of diverse methods is becoming necessary. This paper will draft a conceptual proposal, discussing two well-known holistic approaches of mediative conflict management in an integrative context:

– The Conflict Management Approach by Prof. Dr. Friedrich Glasl (2004).
– The Conflict Transformation Approach (The Transcend Method) by Prof. Dr. Johan Galtung (2000).

The theoretical assumptions of this paper are based on the integral approach by Ken Wilber (2001) – a highly discussed “Theory of Everything“ that has thus far remained widely ignored in Peace and Conflict Studies, yet. Therefore, it is also of interest to scrutinise the integral approach with regard to its contribution for an integrated Peace and Conflict Studies. The analysis was conducted as follows:

1. Introduction of two holistic Peace and Conflict Studies approaches:

a. The Conflict Management Approach by Glasl implies a number of categories and entry points (Ansatzmomente) resulting in a complex intervention spectrum. In this regard, the consideration of escalation levels is highly important, integrating perception-oriented (low escalation), emotion-oriented (medium escalation) and behaviour-oriented (high escalation) measures. The spectrum may be combined with other categories such as conflict type (hot or cold) or criteria of conflict analysis (issues, conflict trends etc.).

b. The Conflict Transformation Approach by Galtung is characterised by a three-fold schematic, enabling a complex understanding of violence (direct, cultural, structural), conflict (behaviour, assumptions, contradictions) and peace (non-violence, empathy, creativity). Moreover, Galtung’s model implies three conflict phases (before, during, after violence) as well as five styles of conflict management.

c. The integral approach can be understood as a “Theory of Everything“ presupposing that no perspective can be 100% wrong (but “partially true”). Its methodology is based on “map making” by categorizing established paradigms, methods and theories in a holistic metacontext. By means of five categories – quadrants, levels, lines, types, states (altogether AQAL: All Quadrants All Lines) – the integral approach claims to consider as many aspects of reality as possible in a holistic concept.

2. Outline of an integration model:

a. Possibility of an epistemological integration of the introduced methods:

The five AQAL-dimensions enable the epistemological foci of the approaches by Galtung and Glasl to be revealed. A point in which both approaches may complement each other becomes apparent by combining a vertical spectrum of escalation levels (Glasl) and a horizontal axis of different fields of violence (Galtung). It might be of further research interest to analyse the potential extent of a correlation to evolution oriented level schemes (Wilber), e.g., referring to development psychology or evolution theory. Are there different development levels (Wilber) of direct, cultural and structural violence (Galtung)? Is there a correlation between levels of development (Wilber) and regression (Glasl)? This paper concludes for both cases a cautious “yes.” In doing so, the consideration of the other AQAL-dimensions (types, lines, states) provides further information.

b. Proposal for an integral heuristic:

The consideration of vertical (levels) and horizontal (quadrants, types, lines) AQAL-categories is also useful to integrate heuristics. However, the integral approach itself does not represent a method of heuristic and practical effect, though it is useful to adapt the AQAL-categories and to consider new tools that are highly relevant for the Peace and Conflict Studies. The heuristic integral concept is based on the vertical conflict scheme by Galtung (three conflict phases) and Glasl (escalation model) and additionally considers horizontal analysis categories (e.g., types: conflict type; quadrants: fields of violence) on each level. A complex integral Peace and Conflict Studies heuristic is the result, under the consideration of an adapted AQAL-model.

3. Conclusion and critique:

The analysis shows that the primary use of the integral approach for Peace and Conflict Studies lies in its ability to integrate the epistemological benchmarks of different approaches. Thereby, the integral concept provides information about some points in which the epistemes and heuristics of Glasl and Galtung may complement each other which could enrich the construction of a metatheory in the Peace and Conflict Studies (especially with regard to the combination of Glasl’s escalation model and Galtung’s three-folded schematics). However, it should be noted that the examples of Glasl’s and Galtung’s meta-approaches provide other important integration and categorisation concepts which are not be covered by the integral approach (at least in its present form). Thus, the AQAL itself may be inappropriate to integrate methods in the context of their orientation (e.g., process, client, solution oriented) or regarding the modus operandi (e.g., (a) conflict analysis, (b) intervention planning, (c) action). The AQAL is not only lacking meta-categories which are adapted to the particular heuristic requirements of Peace and Conflict Studies, also the contextualisation of its dimensions – e.g., the evolutionary scope of the level dimension – may not always be adequate and useful.

Generally, it can be concluded that metatheory building requires to consider different – in some respects contradicting – possibilities of formulating meta-categories. With regard to Peace and Conflict Studies, there remain a lot of research questions to be opened, since different meta-contexts may follow differing “main interests.” Preliminarily, it can be concluded that a really integrated Peace and Conflict Researcher should be familiar with epistemological and heuristic contexts, but also metatheoretical and theoretical contexts as well.

Abstract – Deutsch

Angesichts immer komplexerer Konflikte in der Friedens- und Konfliktforschung (Friedens- und Konfliktforschung) sind Metatheorien von Nöten, die diese unübersichtliche Vielfalt unterschiedlicher Methoden zu integrieren vermögen. Im Rahmen des vorliegenden Papers soll hierzu ein konzeptioneller Vorschlag skizziert werden, indem zwei holistische und bekannte Ansätze der mediativen Konfliktbearbeitung in einem integrativen Kontext diskutiert werden:

– Der Konfliktmanagement-Ansatz nach Prof. Dr. Friedrich Glasl (2004).
– Die Transcend-Methode nach Prof. Dr. Johan Galtung (2000).

Den theoretischen Rahmen, auf den sich die Überlegungen dieser Arbeit stützen, liefert der Integrale Ansatz (IA) von Ken Wilber (2001) – eine viel diskutierte philosophische „Theorie von Allem“, die im Rahmen der Friedens- und Konfliktforschung jedoch noch weitgehend unberücksichtigt geblieben ist. Daher ist es im Rahmen der Arbeit von weiterem Interesse den IA auf seinen Mehrwert für eine integrierte Friedens- und Konfliktforschung zu untersuchen.

Die Untersuchung verlief wie folgt:

1. Vorstellung der in der Untersuchung berücksichtigten Ansätze:

a. Der Konfliktmanagement-Ansatz von Glasl unterscheidet eine Vielzahl von Kategorien und Ansatzmomenten, die ein komplexes Interventionsspektrum ergeben. Sehr wichtig ist hierbei unter anderem die Berücksichtigung von Eskalationsstufen, die eine Unterscheidung zwischen perzeptions- (niedrige Eskalation), gefühls- (mittlere Eskalation) und verhaltensorientierten (hohe Eskalation) Maßnahmen ermöglichen.

b. Die Konflikttransformation nach Galtung zeichnet sich unter anderem durch dreigeteilte Schematisierungen aus, die ein komplexes Verständnis von Gewalt (direkt, kulturell, strukturell), Konflikt (Verhalten, Annahmen, Widerspruch) und Frieden (Gewaltlosigkeit, Empathie, Kreativität) ermöglichen. Darüber hinaus unterscheidet Galtung unter anderem auch drei Phasen des Konflikts (vor, während, nach der Gewalt).

c. Der IA versteht sich als eine Methode des metatheoretischen „Map makings“. Mittels fünf Kategorien – Quadranten, Ebenen, Linien, Typen, Zustände (zusammen AQAL) – folgt der IA dem Anspruch, so vielen Aspekten der Realität wie möglich in einem Gesamtkonzept Rechnung zu tragen.

2. Skizze eines Integrationsmodells:

a. Möglichkeit zur epistemologischen Integration der vorgestellten Konfliktbearbeitungsansätze:

Mittels der fünf Dimensionen des AQAL lassen sich die epistemologischen Schwerpunkte der Ansätze von Glasl und Galtung darstellen. Ein gegenseitiger Ergänzungspunkt bietet sich vor allem bei der kombinierten Berücksichtigung eines vertikalen Spektrums von Eskalationsstufen (Glasl) und eines horizontalen Rasters von mehreren Gewaltbereichen (Galtung).

b. Vorschlag für ein heuristisches Gesamtkonzept:

Der IA stellt keine heuristisch-praktische Methode dar, daher ist es in diesem Fall sinnvoll, die AQAL-Kategorien anzupassen und sogar neue Kategorien, die für die Friedens- und Konfliktforschung besonders relevant sind, zu berücksichtigen. Das heuristische Gesamtkonzept nimmt das vertikale Konfliktschema von Galtung (drei Phasen des Konflikts) und Glasl (Eskalationsmodell) zum Ausgangspunkt und berücksichtigt zusätzlich auf jeder Ebene horizontale Untersuchungskriterien (z.B. Quadranten: Gewaltart etc.)

3. Fazit und Kritik:

Die Untersuchungen dieser Arbeit verdeutlichen, dass der Mehrwert des IA für die Friedens- und Konfliktforschung vor allem darin liegt, die epistemologischen Bezugspunkte unterschiedlicher Ansätze zu integrieren. Am Beispiel der Ansätze von Glasl und Galtung zeigt sich aber auf, dass ein heuristisches Metamodell zusätzliche Metakategorien erfordert, die von der Schematisierung des IA nicht erfasst werden. Es lässt sich daher schließen, dass sich die Metatheoriebildung für die Friedens- und Konfliktforschung, vielfältigen Herausforderungen und weiterführenden Forschungsfragen gegenübersieht, zumal sich unterschiedliche Metakontexte unterscheiden lassen, mit differierenden Geltungsansprüchen und „Integrationslogiken“. Ein wirklich integrierter Friedens- und Konfliktforscher sollte sich im Idealfall sowohl im Bereich der epistemologischen und im heuristischen, im metatheoretischen und im theoretischen Kontext sicher bewegen können.

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