Conflict and Negotiation: 12 Angry Men Our team chose “12 Angry Men” (1957) because it contains numerous examples of conflict and negotiation. The presentation we have designed shows the relationship between parts of the movie and the concepts in our textbook. There were so many examples throughout the film that so we chose a select few clips to relate to conflict and negotiation. Conflict was very evident throughout the movie. Conflict is a psychological struggle resulting from opposing or incompatible needs, drives, hopes, or internal or external demands.
There were few parts in the movie that did not deal with conflict between the 12 jurors. During the jury deliberation, the men negotiate their views and feelings until they finally have a unanimous decision. Negotiation is defined as the process where interested parties resolve disagreements, agree on solutions, or bargain for a certain outcome. At the beginning of “12 Angry Men” we hear the judge and soon after the jury foreman giving instructions to the jury on the procedure for their job and stresses that it will mean death by electric chair if the 18 year old boy is found guilty.
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The conflict first arises after the jury has an initial vote once all are seated for deliberation. The vote is eleven not guilty, and ONE not guilty. The audience expects conflict right at this moment, even before anything is said by the other jurors. Before the vote most jurors make comments that this is an open and shut case, and talk about how they know he is guilty. After juror #8 raises his hand for not guilty, juror #3 says “Boy oh boy, there’s always one. ” This is where the movie really starts to get interesting as the initial conflict arises.
The jury as a whole portrays a traditionalist view of conflict. They have (all but 1) pretty much made up their mind before even thinking twice about it that the accused is guilty as charged. They are not interested in even hearing a different point of view. Traditional view suggests that all conflict is bad and must be avoided. Violence and irrationality are terms that relate to the traditional view. In this scene, along with several more throughout the film exhibit these traits. Human Relations view of conflict explains that conflict is a natural and inevitable outcome in any group. Interactionist
View states that conflict is not only positive but is absolutely necessary to perform the task at hand effectively. Juror# 8, who was the first not guilty vote, was ahead of his time and portrayed the interactionist view of conflict. He initially said he wasn’t sure if the boy was guilty or not, but that they owe it to him to at least talk about it. They should examine the facts again and spend at least a little time before the send him to his death. Juror #8 viewed it as a necessary functional conflict to talk about the case, that would ensure the group would perform their task successfully.