Social psychological approach to the understanding of conflict
This chapter introduces the reader to the background and basic premise of the book: namely the context of large-scale intergroup conflict and its social psychological analysis. Starting off with a discussion on the concept of conflict, we delve into the various ways in which intergroup conflict has been distinguished from interpersonal and intrapersonal conflict. Thereafter we look at some of the major schools of thought that have shaped theorization around conflict and trace the historical shift and evolution of the social psychological approach. Taking the focus towards violent conflicts, the chapter concludes by discussing when, how and why conflicts become violent; the need to understand and explore the various forms and manifestations of violence in conflict, specifically outlining the two important categories; direct personal exposure to violence; and indirect witnessing or collective exposure to violence.