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Psycho Cultural Conflict Theory

Keywords: psycho theory examination, psycho social theory evaluation, psychocultural theory analysis

According to the psycho-cultural issue theory, identification is the main need in the hierarchy of real human needs and, when denied, ends up with violent discord. The satisfaction of your respective basic needs is intricately related to his/her personality. The Psycho-cultural Discord Theory is comparable to the Primordial approach to ethnicity which emphasizes the actual fact that individuals ethnicity (identification) is deeply rooted in their history.

Irobi (2005) argues that thoughts of past traumas magnify people's anxieties. That is as a result of ethnic identity which produces fear, hatred and, consequently, ethnic discord among two ethnic groups that have a history of ethnic discrimination and stratification. Irobi posits that whenever an ethnic group has a history of being stereotyped and discriminated based on their ethnic identity from another group, it results in violent issue since ethnic individuality remains part and parcel of the entirety of an individual. Ethnic groups which were discriminated against and stratified into lower class citizens always habour a sense of marginalization of the identity and this produces strong emotions of hatred and resentment for the other group which have the discrimination. This is what Richardson Jr. & Sen (1996) call 'victim mentality'. Irobi (2005) criticizes the inadequacy of modernization theory which retains that modernity will lead to the dissolution of cultural affiliation. He observes that ethnicity is fixed and area of the identity of individuals and communities. Therefore, any marginalization of ethnic group or discrimination against it based on ethnicity will get strong resistance (conflict). This is particularly observed in the mobilizing role of ethnic identity.

Psycho-cultural discord theorists like Ross (1997) and Horowitz (1998) believe that conflicts that happen to be caused by id are usually dangerous, violent, intractable and highly protracted, and frequently very difficult to solve. It is because identity which is at the centre of the conflict, "can be an unshakable sense of worthy of, which makes life significant and includes the feeling that one is actually, socially, psychologically and spiritually safe" (Faleti, 2006, p. 51). When this sense of protection (id) is threatened, there is a defensive reaction aiming at protecting this no matter what and the result is violent conflict which becomes a matter of life and fatality. This will have an effect on development since violence is perpetually continued affecting productive areas of local economies.

The psycho-cultural theory of turmoil argues, therefore, that resolving this kind of issue is usually very hard and tends to defy any quality mechanism. There's always regular outbreak of violence with such issues despite efforts at resolving the turmoil. Their resolution can take long and sometimes, it isn't possible to speak of resolution, but management. It is because the problem of ethnic personality is uncompromising and its own denial is a whole affront to the group's very lifetime. The outbreak of regular violence consequently of this type of turmoil makes life and security delicate, thereby affecting real human well-being and development. Thus, the link between ethnic issues, their quality and development is obviously seen. Due to the deep-seated, protracted and intractable character of conflicts predicated on identity (cultural turmoil), their resolution remains very hard and takes lengthy, and this produces strings of violence thereby affecting important development. Seymour (2003) therefore emphasized that identification influences the process of issue and should not be overlooked when attempting to understand the origins of conflict and when planning its resolution.

The psycho-cultural issue theory has been seriously criticized by many scholars. The idea has been criticized for attributing the primary basis of turmoil and violence to identity based on ethnicity. Critics are quick to indicate that there is a tendency for many individuals to label any conflict as 'ethnic identity' established when that issue exceedingly has another type of cause (Tonah, 2007).

Bowen (1996) contends that those conflicts which are said to be based on ethnic identity are products of modern politics. He argues that although folks have acquired many identities for long, which are based on their culture (ethnicity), these people only started to see themselves as members of vast categories, opposed to the other person only through the modern amount of colonization. Bowen (1996) talked about that the Rwandan, Burundian and Bosnian issues are politically centered conflicts alternatively than ethnic personality issues, but these issues later assumed ethnic identity proportions. Osaghae (2005) also argues that what's seen as ethnic conflict is not, but elite manipulation of individuals to gain benefit of their politics and personal ambitions. Ethnic personal information, to him, is elitist manipulation of ethnicity to get control over political power and what's seen as issues emanating from ethnic identity are not in any way, but politically founded conflicts. It's possible for elites to manipulate a group of folks against each other. It really is even easy for conflicts in a few elements of Africa and other areas to take ethnic proportions even if the original cause of the conflict is political, resource, religious or any other cause (Tonah, 2007).

Ernest Penan (cited in Bowen, 1996) feels that ethnic individuality is constructed by intellectuals because of their personal interests and this ethnic individuality is a couple of ideas alternatively than peoples values in conflict. Chandra (2006) is convinced that ethnic personal information does not matter or is not shown to matter in detailing most benefits of assault. Fearon & Laitin (2000) also argue after an enquiry in to the relationship between cultural identity and violence that the mere observation that cultural identities are socially made is not.

In realization, the Psycho-cultural Theory simply argues that personal information based on ethnicity explains the main reason for conflicts in world. The weakness of the theory makes it essential for this analysis to be able to properly identify the resources of ethnic issue in the Bawku Traditional Area in order to devise appropriate quality mechanisms to them.

Conceptual framework

It remains visible that development is meaningfully achieved through the lifestyle of peace. Tranquility here identifies the absence of violent discord and effective discord resolution which both boundary on security. Ethnic conflicts, frequently, are intractable issues which involve beliefs, claim to status, identity, deprivation of needs and exterior factors such as politics infiltrations (Coleman, 2000). Thus, cultural conflicts are often protracted and stay very difficult to solve and their ongoing existence poses threat to local level development plus they tend to seriously prevent security which is required to ensure calmness for development.

Ethnic conflicts as shown in Body 1 primarily result from earlier historical and colonial experience which are further exacerbated by factors like lack of access to vitality, resources and cultural marginalization/stereotypes which can be magnified by individuals' struggle for his or her ethnic personality. The continuous ethnic polarization through these factors brings about violence (issue) which results in low assets in local financial activities/commerce, decreasing agricultural, educational and health requirements, insecurity, high dependency ratio, loss of lives and low earnings for folks and families. The outcome of all these, as seen in Figure 1, is decreasing levels of socio-economic development.

The effective quality of ethnic conflicts can have positive implications for development. Schoeman (1998) argues a society in which people are secure (when violent issue is properly resolved or is absent), will:

  • Enable visitors to develop their areas;
  • Enable people to be architects of their own lives;
  • Enable visitors to get together to pursue financial and other development; and
  • Enable people to participate in the introduction of the modern culture.

In resolving cultural conflicts, one must focus on fulfilling the essential needs which have been deprived (UN DESA, 2001) and also developing a proportional equality in deep-rooted social and id issues (Richardson Jr. & Wang, 1993) using alternative party intervention and inter-group cooperation (Horowitz, 2000; Lipchitz & Crawford, 1995). Many of these can be done by effectively engaging the conflicting parties in mediation, inter-group dialogue and third party intervention using indigenous methods. Issues which are mostly root causes of discord when tackled properly ends up with effective conflict quality thereby trickling right down to sustainable peace which includes implications for local development.


Core Problem

  • Low Investment due to insecurity
  • Destruction of Property and infrastructure
  • General Insecurity
  • Low Agricultural Production
  • Low commerce
  • Refusal to accept posting
  • Low Income
  • Decreasing Educational and Health Standards
  • Retarded Development

Ethnic Conflict

  • High Dependency Ratio
  • Low Income
  • Loss of Lives
  • Low Income
  • Poverty
  • Struggle for Ethnic Identity
  • Lack of Usage of Electricity. e. g. Chieftaincy and Political Connections
  • Past Historical and Colonial Experiences
  • Ethnic Marginalization


  • Lack of Access to Natural Resources. e. g. Land
  • Decreasing Degrees of Community/Economic Development
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