Community mediation and culture : a study of Oregon programs Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/bk128g15s

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  • This descriptive research project is a survey and analysis of nineteen community mediation programs in the State of Oregon. These programs were evaluated to determine their responsiveness to issues of culture and ethnicity. Data was gathered by face-to-face and telephone interviews with community program staff members and administrators. Information was written on cards or tape recorded for analysis. General questions were asked about kinds of services, target groups, and minority use of services provided. Other questions related to information about training, mediator selection, intake, and the mediation process. A review of selected authors, such as Hall, Hofstede and others, forms a background for cultural issues related to mediation. Cultural factors included in this study highlight the characteristics and variables of cultural and conflict. The literature review includes current thinking regarding the nature, merit and challenges of community mediation programs and a description of mediation in the State of Oregon. The findings of the research indicate that most community mediation programs in Oregon do not service minority communities. The need for adequate funding, personnel, time, and solutions to serve diverse populations within their neighborhoods produces a constant tension affecting the extent to which programs are responsive to diversity issues. Outreach to develop community awareness and recruit volunteers varies significantly. Very little outreach is specific to minority communities. Most advertising is in English. Training programs differ from location to location, but aspects related to culture are minimal. The intake process for each program varies only slightly. Usually procedures and techniques remain consistent regardless of the cultural or ethnic backgrounds of disputants. With the exception of language considerations, the mediation process also remains the same for all cases. Recommendations are included to strengthen the development of programs to be more responsive and open to the cultural needs of minorities.
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