Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


School of Communication Studies


Lori Britt


This research investigated the unique narratives of one community mediation center’s stakeholders to illuminate the interconnectedness of the center’s stakeholders and the role critical events play in their retrospective sensemaking. A qualitative study, employing an autoethnographic and narrative analysis, was conducted at a local mediation center over a period of six months to explore the communicative interactions involved in the stakeholders’ tellings and retellings of stories of significant change. Results offered a rich understanding of the significant moments taking place at the community mediation center and the communicative triggers of these critical event experiences. Critical event triggers included: accelerated learning, cognitive dissonance and Dialogue, and reinforced conceptualizations of mediation. By highlighting critical events and their triggers, conceptual and practical implications include a set of best practices for mediation centers and for facilitating conflict resolution.