In the movie Remember the Titans there is an example of a group conflict that arose over integrating races. The group conflict was within the newly formed high school football team from the integration of two high schools within the community. Basically, when the schools were combined it led to the uniting of the black and white football players from each of the two high schools to build one, cohesive, and strong team for the school and community. When the integration first took place, not only was the football team at odds but as was the community. Coach Boone had taken the football players to training camp at Gettysburg College. There Boone showed the players how they could get along and look past the color of skin and look to the real person inside. It wasn’t about what color you were, but how you played the game of football and what kind of attitude you had. The turning point of the conflict, when it became functional and started to work in a positive way, was when Boone took them on an early morning run. He took them to the battlefield where hundreds of people died so that we could all be here today and live the way we do. These soldiers got past race, religion, and other inconsistencies of life so why not this football team? From there on, the players began to see life through a different view and started to come together as a team. As the football team united, the other students in the school, as well as the entire community, began to come together out of support for the team despite this racial conflict.
A functional conflict is defined as one that supports the goals of the group and improves its performance. In the above example, this conflict of race and not being able to overcome it was functional because Boone realized, as the coach, it was his responsibility to make his players function as one unit if they were going to find a way to achieve their common goal of winning. At this point in history, whites and blacks did not coexist...
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