Blowing Up

The Psychology of Conflict

by Randi Minetor


What causes sibling rivalry? Why is bullying an ongoing problem? When do disagreements between friends go too far? What perpetuates these daily conflicts, and why do they seem so difficult to resolve?

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Cover image for Blowing Up

September 2017


Pages 200
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Psychology/General
  Psychology/Child and Teen

This is a powerful resource for anyone who wants to understand the nature of interpersonal conflict—to study it, understand why it's a consistent part of human history, and perhaps avert it in their own lives.

Why does conflict surround us in everyday life, from spats between individuals to major conflicts involving large groups? Is conflict inevitable? Why are conflicts and differences of opinion often so hard to resolve? Blowing Up: The Psychology of Conflict focuses on interpersonal conflict and the ways that this level of conflict can move beyond the original relationship to permeate larger constructs—small groups, large groups, whole organizations, and even entire nations. By examining both the positive and negative consequences of conflict—and by documenting its existence as normal and common—readers can appreciate how conflict does not immediately equate to negative feelings and how it also can be useful in creating rules and laws, aiding in negotiation, and bringing people together to work toward a common goal.

This clear and accessibly written book in Greenwood's Psychology of Everyday Life series provides students with an understanding of the important role conflict plays in our lives, the many forms conflict may take, and the ways that conflict can actually be constructive and useful as well as destructive to relationships, discussions, and groups. The historical overview of established theories and the study of conflict to date provides readers with invaluable perspective into the subject by identifying and analyzing specific conflicts, including well-publicized conflicts in foreign countries. The book also charts conflict throughout the life cycle to help students identify the reasons for conflicts that occur in their own lives—with parents, friends, siblings, employers, romantic partners, and people in authority.


  • Presents a fascinating investigation into the many forms of conflict and the ways these have an impact on everyday life
  • Establishes the importance of conflict in our lives, as well as the surprising concept that conflict can be constructive and useful rather than simply destructive
  • Provides an overview of the key theories and a historical study of conflict, including landmark research like the Robbers Cave experiment, social identity theory, and psychodynamic theory
  • Explores conflict throughout the life cycle with scenarios that readers will find familiar and which will resonate on a personal level
  • Provides a global perspective to underscore the nature of conflict and its existence in virtually every society in the world—a timely topic in an era of unprecedented divisiveness
Author Info

Randi Minetor, MA, is the author of more than 60 books in the areas of sociology, reference, history, business, folklore, travel, nature, and general interest. She is also a journalist and writes for publications and websites in the fields of theatre technology, medicine, tourism, and municipal water distribution.



"This exceptional contribution offers practical advice to a diverse readership; however, it targets teenager and young adult audiences. Writing to a well-defined readership is an excellent approach for reaching out to those experiencing the turmoil of erratic emotions while transitioning towards adulthood. Every high school, community college, and university library should consider adding this book to their resource collections."ARBAonline

"This is a well-written, carefully organized, comprehensive presentation of issues related to the psychology of conflict. Although the book is geared toward general readers, health professionals and psychology instructors are likely to find this text informative as well. . . . Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates, faculty, and professionals."Choice

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Chilling Out cover imageWorking Out cover imageClocking In cover image

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