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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


International Studies

First Advisor

Chris Cartwright

First Committee Member

Em Griffin

Second Committee Member

Phyllis Thompson


In today’s world, people from various cultures interact on a daily basis on a number of occasions. During these intercultural encounters, conflicts often arise. Intercessors are needed to help people navigate these types of disagreements. Mediators are considered some of these peacekeepers. This thesis engaged with mediators at a mediation center in the Midwestern United States in order to understand what strategies seemed most effective. I examined the research that scholars have conducted regarding building rapport through utilizing respect and face issues, as well as nonverbal behavior. In addition, I explored the connection between the understanding of these factors and intercultural competence and intercultural conflict competence. The purpose of this thesis was to see how these mediators understood and valued respect and face issues, including nonverbal behavior, when building rapport with parties in mediations. These mediators were engaged in two manners, via survey and interview questions. The intercultural competence of the mediators in these domains was also explored. The results of the research in this thesis showed how the mediators were skilled in some areas, such as in rapport building and respect issues. It further revealed that they were in need of some skills for their toolbox, such as training on face issues and nonverbal behavior, including silence, tone of voice, and eye contact. Detailed recommendations for the mediators are provided. Future research is encouraged: A group of mediators that have exhibited intercultural competence should be selected in order to test their intercultural conflict competence.





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