Case Report: Are You One of Us and Can We Trust You?: Taking a Communication Perspective in Participatory Research

This article focuses on the necessity to build relationships with people across cultures, while doing participatory action research (PAR). There are many assumptions attached to the term “participation” and it is not only worth exploring how these assumptions are formed and how they manifest during participatory action research projects, but is necessary to build trusting relationships. Taking a communication perspective through the lens of Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM), provides the framework to see which voices are heard and privileged, and how researchers with more formal experience blend in partnership with those possessing local knowledge and practices. These many influences shape the dynamics of the relationships, create the episodes of which these experiences are a part, and impact the efficacy of the work. These layers of complexity need to be considered and addressed. CMM Models and concepts aid us in becoming aware of the moral or “logical” forces that are attached to the contexts we prioritize and was applicable to the case study we did in Medellín, Colombia, which was key to developing self-awareness. These contextual influences are culturally bound and in order to have equitable participatory processes across cultures, becoming more aware of the origin of these tendencies is critical. In addition, the more self-aware all the researchers become, the more it leads to developing better partnerships in these PAR processes.


Fisher-Yoshida B (2021) Case Report: Are You One of Us and Can We Trust You?: Taking a Communication Perspective in Participatory Research. Front. Commun. 5:599286. doi: 10.3389/fcomm.2020.599286

Transforming Conflict Narratives

Co-authored with Joan C. Lopez

Narratives, both personal and social, guide how we live and how we are acculturated into our social worlds. As we make changes in our lives, our personal stories change and, in turn, have the potential to influence the social narratives of which we are a part. Likewise, when there are changes in the culture and social worlds around us, that social narrative changes, thereby affecting our personal narratives. In other words, personal and social narratives are strongly linked and mutually influence each other. We may feel and know these transformations take place and understand the ways in which our lives are affected. However, we often struggle to document these shifts. This article suggests using the practical theory, Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM) (Pearce, 2007), for narrative analysis to identify and surface personal and social narrative transformations.


Journal of Transformative Education 2021, Vol. 0(0) 1–12, Sage Publications

Educating Negotiators: Using Theory, Practice, Case Studies, and Simulations in an Integrated Learning Experience

Co-authored with Josh Fisher

In the past 40 years, negotiation studies have become increasingly avail- able and sought after across college campuses. While there is widespread agreement on the prominent role negotiation plays in education, in the workplace, in public policy, and in other fields, there remains a lack of consensus on pedagogies and teaching models that effectively train stu- dents and practitioners in the various aspects of negotiation, ranging from pre-intervention assessment, to effective bargaining, dialogue, and facilitation, to evaluating procedural and distributive outcomes. In order to synthesize distinct disciplinary approaches and skill/content areas into an integrated pedagogical model, this article describes a negotiation sim- ulation designed to incorporate skill building, process management, con- flict analysis, and conflict management tools. The model incorporates equal emphasis on theoretical frameworks and understanding, self-aware-ness training for facilitators, social network and stakeholder analysis for negotiation preparation, participatory analytical and discursive process management, and developing metrics for monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment.


Negotiation and Conflict Management Research, Volume 10, Number 4, Pages 286–305 286 © 2017 International Association for Conflict Management and Wiley Periodicals, Inc..

Youth Leaders and the Arts: From Conflict to Strategic Community Building

Co-authored with Joan C. Lopez and Aldo Civivo

A State of Peace, Just Like a State of Conflict, is not an Event; it is a Process

In a recent public gathering, while discussing the challenges of post-conflict Colombia, Humberto de la Calle, the lead negotiator of the Colombian government in the Havana peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), claimed that it is imperative that we conceive peace “not as an event, but as a process” (2017). With this being said, de la Calle alluded to the complexity embedded not only in peace, but also in the state of conflict itself. The armed conflict between the Colombian government and FARC has a long and complex history. In fact, according to The Center for Justice and Accountability, “Colombia has endured the longest-running internal conflict in the Western hemisphere”. Many players, from all spheres of social life, have been part of this conflict from its origin, its sustainment, to its ever-morphing reproduction; but of course, and most importantly, of its dissolution and transformation into a peaceful society. (CJA, 2017)

Ref In Factis Pax, Volume 11 Number 2 (2017): 133-151,

Self-Awareness and the Co-Construction of Conflict

There are times we proceed in our interactions with others in a manner that doesn’t produce conflict, while at other times everything we do or say seems to lead toward disagreement. Often we are quick to find fault and blame with the other party and claim that they left us with no choice but to do what we did or say what we said. These patterns tend to repeat themselves unless we stop and question ourselves and try to find some reason for why we always seem to end up in these disputes. After engaging in some self-reflection, we may identify the role we played in co-creating, co-developing and co-sustaining the conflict.

This paper seeks to provoke readers to think about their own self-awareness and the role it may play in bringing them to realize their agency in their conflicts and how they can make a difference and change these destructive patterns. There is also a section addressing practitioners who work in the field of conflict resolution as facilitators, mediators or trainers because in these roles it is critical we become and remain aware of the impact, whether conscious or unconscious, that we have on others.


Human Systems: The Journal of Systemic Consultation & Management, Vol 14 issue 2 2003, pp. 3–22