Social Representations, Conciliation in Equity, and Community Justice: A Case Study

By Rodolfo Alfonso Torregrosa Jiménez.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Civic and Political Studies

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Because of problems of access and dysfunction in the judicial apparatus, all societies have community-based forms of dispute resolution. Community and institutional dispute resolution mechanisms can offer the possibility of dealing with disputes on the basis of the values, usages, and customs of communities rather than the mere formalities of state justice, which is inaccessible to ordinary working people. Conciliation in Equity is one of the alternatives that enables the less affluent sectors of society, acting on their own behalf and through community leaders, to obtain a form of justice in keeping with the needs and responsibilities of direct community stakeholders. This research investigates the social representations (SR) of the concepts of equity, community justice, and the coexistence of the users of conciliation in equity in a district in the city of Bogotá, Colombia. The reason for using SR as a theoretical and methodological approach is that what we are interested in is to identify the point of view of these users, that is, their opinions and attitudes and the information available to them. The cognitive dimension of their SR will therefore be described using methods based on and supported by theoretical points of reference. These representations are interpreted through formalizations constructed by dividing up the corpus of semi-directed interviews conducted with users, considered as a continuum of separate occurrences, into graphic forms (codes), using a series of delimited characters. These occurrences were analyzed in both quantitative and qualitative terms.

Keywords: Social Representations, Alternative Mechanisms, Dispute Resolution, Conciliation in Equity

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Civic and Political Studies, Volume 10, Issue 3, September 2015, pp.9-21. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 422.960KB).

Prof. Rodolfo Alfonso Torregrosa Jiménez

Researcher, Universidad Libre de Colombia, Bogota, Colombia