The mediator. As we see, a variety of ideas is connected to the concept of mediation. The Roma school mediators are referred to as intermediators between the minority and these official actors, and not as mediators between the pupils for example. The Code of Ethics makes the mediator responsible for communication and understanding between the Roma communities and the respective institutions such as the schools.
At the end a lot of the semantics used within the context of the programme implicitly see the responsibilty for the marginalized situation of a lot of Roma within the Roma communities. Positionings within the Roma school mediation. With the differentiation from Kyuchukov in mind and in order to see how ideas of ethnicity, group heterogeneity, the role of the mediator and the underlying concept of mediation are reflected in real mediation processes, we will take a brief look at some first-hand exemplary data collected within a Roma school mediation.
The excerpts from the conversation between a Roma school mediator and a pupil discussed here took place at an integrated secondary school in a large German city. There, the pupil meets the Roma school mediator, who invites the pupil for a talk.
The Roma school mediator is, at the time of the recording, in her 40s, was born in Serbia and has lived in Germany for about 15 years. Both speak Serbian and Romanes besides German, which in the case of the pupil is her mother tongue and in the case of the mediator is her third language. She started learning German when she came to Germany 15 years ago. As the data collected so far has shown, the role of the mediator varies very much from conversation to conversation. The following first brief statement shows how and in what matter the mediator stresses her membership of the school system.
The two speakers talk about a classmate of the pupil who had missed lots of classes lately. She trys to make a clue of what the pupil knows and thinks about the times of absence of the classmate. It does not reflect the mediators intermediary position between the pupils and the teachers anymore. She clearly states in whose name she is speaking at the moment. In some cases the mediator also shows clear signs of insider-knowledge and tries to establish understanding by emphasizing her role as part of the Roma community, like the following excerpt shows:.
Especially interesting here is how the two speakers cooperate in order to develop the place of origin of the pupil S1. At first the pupil marks a spatial belonging line 02 , which expresses the national affiliation Serbia without narrowing it down to a certain place. In line 05 the speaker S2 then makes it clear that she is asking for a city. By asking further questions, the mediator directs the conversation and finally states a proposal for the possible origin of the student line Since the student accepts this proposal the spatial contextualization takes place in a cooperative joint negotiation.
From a liminal, undefined, state of not knowing, the two speakers work out a stable position of spatial association. In contrast, the following short excerpt shows how the mediator builds up an opposition and argues against the pupil speaker 1. In this excerpt, the student is questioned by the Roma school mediator concerning her family situation. In lines 02 and 04 the pupil switches into Serbian and uses this language change for a contextualization in order to describe why they do not talk to each other a lot in her family.
The pupil describes the boundaries of the group as impermeable and stable line 02 and S2 contradicts this and declares these boundaries permeable again by saying that she too belongs to this group and that it is not the case with her. In summary, the variation within the positionings and the cooperative negotiating of membership is obvious; sometimes he or she positions him- or herself as a part of the community, as an ally, sometimes as a member of the ingroup but with different points of view, and sometimes as part of the school system as well.
Already these short excerpts show that the typology of Kyuchukov can not be understood in an essentialistic way. As we have seen, the conceptual interconnection of Roma school mediation and social work seems to ensure that the mediation in this context is also dealing with a situation of social inequality. The institutional framework is characterized by the schools, the EU-programme and the civic initiatives that employ or place the school mediators at the respective schools.
The possible fracture of the role between the work as a mediator and as a social worker has to be taken into consideration.
Edited By Peter Rosenberg, Konstanze Jungbluth and Dagna Zinkhahn Rhobodes
Are the mediators capable of working in both roles at the same time? Are these two roles at all compatible?
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And if so, how are they successfully applied for eachother in the everyday work of the Roma school mediators? It is therefore a matter of emprirical studies to ask whether the institutions responsible for this programme, emphasize ethnic boundaries by focusing on ethnicity as the relevant difference marker. Is, as in the case of Roma school mediation, the ethnic dimension really that relevant to the negotiations in the school context? Or are perhaps also national categories, linguistic boundaries, status affiliations, etc. Against this institutionalized perspective would speak if the ethnic boundaries are drawn within the mediation, and therefore maintained within interactions in the form of dialogic encounters.
In any case, a structured evaluation and monitoring of the real necessity for Roma school mediation at German schools would help to break the wide-spread narrative that Roma per se are in need of help. All in all we can say that the ethnicization of school mediation, as it exists in the programme discussed here, proposes to minimize discrepancies and produce greater equality between the mediator and Roma pupils by training members of the Roma minority. But, since Roma school mediators of course not only care for the Roma pupils at their schools, but in their everyday work, they also intervene in situations where non-Roma are included.
They do not only mediate between Roma and non-Roma, but generally between all parties in a conflict, Roma school mediation as an ethnicized mediation, also constructs cultural differences and at least two homogenic groups. Its meant to overcome social boundaries by empowering members of the community but it also emphasizes difference and implies homogenization. Berlin , retrieved Bundesministerium des Innern Ed. Soziologie inter-ethnischer Beziehungen. Stuttgart In: Auernheimer, Georg Ed. Kruk, Edward Ed : Mediation and conflict resolution in social work and the human services.
Nelson-Hall Publishers: Chicago Kyuchukov, Hristo: Roma school mediators in Berlin.
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VS Verlag: Wiesbaden Peyroux, Olivier: The question of Roma mediators and positive discrimination. Dokumentation und Forschungsbericht. VS Verlag: Wiesbaden , pp. Translation M. VS Verlag: Wiesbaden , p. Stuttgart , p. Berlin , p. Nelson-Hall Publishers: Chicago , p. Published by the Council of Europe. Situations in schoolyards, in hallways or at locations outside the school are involved, but can not be recorded, and are thus not subject to a detailed conversational analysis.
During the conversation, a social worker enters the room, who does not sit down, but is engaged in various activities and participates repeatedly in the conversation. I do not participate in the conversation, except by a few approving laughs.
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My presence and the fact of the entering social worker make clear that the conversation does not take place in a protected, concealed space. Accordingly, the possible consequences for the openness and lack of confidentiality for the two speakers has to be taken into consideration. Would you like to be regularly informed by e-mail about our new publications in your fields of interest?
Subscribe to our newsletter. Peter Lang on Facebook. Powered by PubFactory. User Account Sign In Not registered? Create Profile. Peter Lang. Search Close. Advanced Search Help. Show Less Open access. This volume focuses on the linguistic constructs involved in ethnic borders. Thus, European security rests on more collective actions when France and Germany are in the lead. The dismal security environment in Europe—exacerbated by terrorist attacks, NATO expansion, instability at the southern flank and a resurging Russia—points to the need for strong leadership.
Such an environment encourages France to maintain its partial leadership role and to join Germany in taking full responsibility for preserving and strengthening the EU. Also, the pragmatism of French and German leaders who do not overtly favor one side over another could be a decisive factor for Poland, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania—all of which seek to check Russian assertiveness without starting a war—to accept Franco-German mediation.
Finally, in the aftermath of Brexit in the United Kingdom and the state of perplexity that EU leaders now face, the natural coalition of the two biggest EU powers seems to be inevitable. In order to prevent a destabilizing arms race between Washington and Moscow, the Franco-German alliance should press the US to power down its missile defense system in Europe. Although cited as necessary to defend against possible missile attacks by Iran, the Iranians do not currently have the capability to launch such attacks. Moreover, the enforcement of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is intended to prevent Iran from arming its missiles with nuclear warheads, and even when armed with conventional warheads, Iranian missiles are not a game changer militarily, nor do they constitute an existential threat to any nation.
Thus, the current situation in Iran provides an excellent opportunity for a Franco-German alliance to encourage the US and Russia to work together on the prevention of the Iranian ICBM program, rather than relying on an auspicious and tension-escalating missile defense system in Europe.
Mediation as Intervention of Choice – A Critical Analysis of Mediation in Identity Conflicts
Rather than encourage the continued deployment of the weapons of war, the Franco-German alliance should reinforce the mechanisms of peace and provide additional funds and personnel to the ongoing OSCE High Commission on Minority Rights mission in the Baltics, so as to ensure that the rights of Russian minorities within these countries would continue to be respected. Such a proposal is in-line with the conclusions of the February-March European Leadership Network, which stated that the EU should put all its efforts into supporting the OSCE as an instrument for monitoring and mediating conflicts within the European area.
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Gridlock over Europe Negative perceptions and rhetoric coming from Russia and the US prevent either side from resolving this conflict bilaterally. Embed from Getty Images.