David Eun and Bruce PattonTwo-party negotiation between a minister and a school principal over how to address racial tensions arising from alleged shoplifting at a local grocery store
Tensions between the Korean and African-American communities of economically-depressed Urbana have been growing for some time now. Korean-Americans own most of the grocery stores in the area. The African-Americans that make up most of their customer base have complained for a long time that they are ill-treated by the store owners. The owners in turn complain that their customers frequently steal items from the stores.
Recently, an elderly African-American woman’s visit to her local grocery store erupted into a city-wide incident. The store owners allege that she was attempting to shoplift. The woman denies this, and claims that she was beaten by one of the owners. Activists on both sides have made grandiose claims on television. The customer and owners have taken legal action. Tensions continue to mount.
Now, a deacon from the local African-American church is meeting with the principal from the Korean-American school to see if they can find a way to lessen the tension surrounding the incident, and the history of such incidents.
- This exercise can provide a forum for discussing many issues, including the effect of culture and ethnicity on partisan formation, the influence of race on conflict, the use of negotiation in the shadow of legal action, choosing representatives for a community, and dealing with one conflict when it is part of a pattern of conflicts.
For all parties:
- General information
Confidential instructions for:
- Deacon of the African-American Church
- High School Principal
Teacher’s package includes:
- All of the above
- No teaching note available at this time
NOTE: The fact pattern of this simulation is similar to that of Seoul Food in Urbana; the latter is a mediation involving legal representatives of the African-American and Korean-American communities, rather than the community members themselves.
Grocery Store Attributes
- Time required:
- 1-2 hours
- Number of participants:
- Teams involved:
- Agent present:
- Neutral third party present:
- Teaching notes available:
PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center
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Ordering copies for multiple participants
To order multiple copies of a role simulation for use in a course or workshop, simply enter the total number of participants in the box next to “Quantity.” There is no need to calculate how many of each role is required.
If you are ordering hard copies, the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center will calculate the appropriate numbers of each role to provide, based on the total number of participants. For example, if you wish to order a 2-party role simulation for use with a class of 30 students, you would enter “30” in the box next to “Quantity.” You then would receive 15 copies of one role and 15 copies of the other role, for use with your 30 participants. As another example, if you ordered 30 participant copies of a 6-party role simulation, you would receive 5 copies of each role.
In the event that the number of participant copies you order is not evenly divisible by the number of roles in the simulation, you will receive extra copies of one or more roles. Participants receiving the extra roles may partner with other participants playing the same role, thus negotiating as a team. So, for instance, if you ordered 31 copies of a 2-party role simulation, you would receive 15 copies of the first role and 16 copies of the second role. One of the participants playing the second role would partner with another participant playing that same role, and the two would negotiate as a team.