Small Field, Big Perspectives

By: Ariana Falco

Reflecting on this first session took a while to do. There was so much information to process. Some of the information was a good recap for me, being that Avruch was my professors professor, it was nice to see the information passed down. From reflecting on the origins from Galtung and Lederach and seeing how relatively new this field is, it makes me happy to be a part of this journey. My takeaway with that is the feeling of being apart of this new big journey for a hopeful future. Another piece in Avruchs lecture that i found interesting was his interpretation of the diagram with concern with self and concern with others. Thus far in my education with peacebuilding, I’ve learned that Compromising is the end goal to achieve. Avruch took this a step further to say the optimal goal is Integrating, and maximizing strategy. This was an interesting concept to walk away with and seeing the different perspectives within this field. 

The second lecture on the topic of Belonging was a bit harder for me to wrap my head around. It was fascinating to see the history of evolution tied with war and extinction but looked at in more of a lighter note. She addressed the concept that in order for there to be change, things must be broken first, which I agree with. The part that was hard for me to grasp was how theoretical the whole conversation was. There was no definite way for us to come up with a global definition for a sense of belonging in a matter of hours. This is something that will take place over centuries and the systems must be broken down in order for this to happen. I thought this was an interesting topic to discuss and a fun conversation to have but for something to relate back to peacebuilding I found it hard to make the connection. Another point made in the conversation by a classmate was that technology is dissociating us from our words and history like letters used to. He used the comparison of creating a photo in a darkroom to that of using your cellphone to send a text. I agree that we have lost our personal touch when it comes to the digital world, even though everything is stored on the cloud and there is coding for all of our messages and online presence, it is not the same as handwriting a letter or burning an image. 

My thoughts after the first day came to the conclusion that there are multiple perspectives when it comes to this work. Each individual has their own past that they apply to situations which can make it very personal to them. These stories are important to share and communicate so that we can learn from one another and help to progress our academic career. As I continue through these next two weeks, I hope to apply my perspectives in conversation more and find more steps to the “never ending questions”.

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