Stay up to date on everything mediation!

Subscribe to our free newsletter,
"This Week in Mediation"

Sign Up Now

Already subscribed No subscription today
Mediate.com

A New Year’s Resolution: To Balance Fairness and Victimhood through Mediation

by Jan Frankel Schau
January 2016

Jan Frankel Schau's Mediation Blog

Jan Frankel Schau

Arthur Brooks wrote an interesting article in Sunday’s New York Times titled, “The Real Victims of Victimhood”. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/27/opinion/sunday/the-real-victims-of-victimhood.html. There, he reluctantly acknowledged that America has grown into a country with a “victimhood culture”. Politicians sell the concept that ordinary Americans are “under attack” by the wealthy, politicians, immigrants and those of different religions. In terms well known to mediators, Brooks describes this by “motive attribution asymmetry”: where both sides attribute their own group’s behavior as arising out of love and the other side out of hatred or evil inclinations. In an experiment performed by social science researchers at Stanford University, the evidence was striking. People who articulated a story of being treated unfairly were not only 26% less likely to help the researchers when asked, but were more likely to leave their trash behind and even steal the researchers pencils.

 In this new year, I hope that you will join me in giving voice to those who feel particularly and individually victimized, but in avoiding falling prey to those charismatic leaders who promise to speak for the victims en masse and to save them from the evil of those “on the other side”. One by one, we can address the wrongs befallen on individuals without characterizing the whole of America as being under attack by evil.

Like Brooks, I remain an optimist. But I am still watching our pencils.

Biography


Attorney Jan Frankel Schau is a highly skilled neutral, engaged in full-time dispute resolution. Following a successful career spanning two decades in litigation, she has mediated over 700 cases for satisfied clients. Ms. Schau understands the nuances of trial and settlement practice as well as client relations and balancing the needs of their representatives with the risk and expenses of trial. Those who have used Ms. Schau’s services recognize excellence in her persistence, optimism, creativity and integrity.

Ms. Schau was the President of the Southern California Mediation Association in 2007 and is recognized as among the most outstanding mediators in Southern California in the mediation of civil disputes by her peers and clients. She also serves as a Trustee of the Board of Directors of the San Fernando Valley Bar Association, and has presided as Chair of it’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Section and Litigation Section. She holds a Certificate of Advanced Skills in Negotiation from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution of Pepperdine University as well as from the Western Law Center for Disability Rights at Loyola Law School.



Email Author
Author Website

Additional articles by Jan Frankel Schau

Comments