Mediation: Embedded Assumptions of Whiteness?

22 Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution 453 (2021)

Ohio State Legal Studies Research Paper No. 637

46 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2021 Last revised: 20 Jul 2021

See all articles by Sharon Press

Sharon Press

Mitchell Hamline School of Law Dispute Resolution Institute

Ellen E. Deason

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law

Date Written: June 17, 2021

Abstract

This article attempts to uncover some of the systemic ways in which white supremacy is expressed in the practice of mediation in the United States with the goal of inspiring additional conversations and deeper attention to these issues by scholars and practitioners in the field of dispute resolution. Our methodology is to apply the themes in Layla F. Saad’s book, ME AND WHITE SUPREMACY: COMBAT RACISM, CHANGE THE WORLD, AND BECOME A GOOD ANCESTOR (2020). We use the lenses of tone policing, color-blindness, racial stereotyping, anti-blackness, white silence, and white supremacy to reflect on the following aspects of mediation: communication norms, expression of anger, emphasis on the future, the development of narratives, mediator bias, mediator neutrality, embedded assumptions about conflict, who serves as mediators, and the role of self-determination. The article concludes with some suggestions for potential ways to address the issues raised.

Keywords: Mediation, Racism, White supremacy, Bias, Dispute resolution

JEL Classification: K10

Suggested Citation

Press, Sharon and Deason, Ellen E., Mediation: Embedded Assumptions of Whiteness? (June 17, 2021). 22 Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution 453 (2021), Ohio State Legal Studies Research Paper No. 637, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3869110

Sharon Press (Contact Author)

Mitchell Hamline School of Law Dispute Resolution Institute ( email )

875 Summit Ave
St. Paul, MN 55105-3076
United States
651-290-6436 (Phone)

Ellen E. Deason

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law ( email )

55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States
614-688-5794 (Phone)
614-688-8422 (Fax)

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