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Learning from Zuni war gods

Learning from Zuni war gods

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Alexandra Crampton, Marquette University

Keywords: alternative dispute resolution, mediation, family law, court mediation, Zuni family relations, family intervention

Abstract: This article applies lessons learned from the Zuni people of the southwestern United States about successful and sustainable intervention as a metaphor to address common tensions among alternative dispute resolution (ADR) scholars and practitioners. These tensions are found in professionalisation, institutionalisation and identification of best practices. Through example of Zuni efforts to repatriate sacred artefacts known as Ahuy: da, I argue that ADR is an intervention that works best through direct and ongoing dialogue rather than rigid adherence to a set of standards. The problem lies in how such adherence can limit and distort rather than inform or support best practices in research as well as mediation practice. I propose qualitative, ethnographic field research as a way to address this problem, and provide an example from ongoing study of a US family court mediation programme.

Author Biography: 

Alexandra Crampton, Associate Professor, Department of Social and Cultural Sciences, Marquette University, USA

Publication Date:  15 December 2017

Crampton, A. (2017). Learning from Zu˜ni war gods: Repatriating alternative dispute resolution for practice and research. Mediation Theory and Practice2(2), 131–156.

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