Minority Matters: 12 Angry Men as a Case Study of a Successful Negotiation against the Odds

Minority Matters: 12 Angry Men as a
Case Study of a Successful Negotiation
against the Odds

Eirini Flouri and Yiannis Fitsakis

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In his famous book, Social Influence and Social Change, celebrated
social psychologist Serge Moscovici contended that minorities influence
change by creating conflict. Because people wish to avoid conflict,
they will often dismiss the minority position. But when the minority
refuses to be dismissed by remaining committed to its position and
maintaining a well-defined and coherent point of view, then the
minority can make the majority reconsider its beliefs and consider the
minority’s position as a viable alternative.Moscovici identified five key
aspects of the minority’s influential behavior: consistency, investment,
autonomy, rigidity, and fairness.
In this article we analyze the negotiation process depicted in the
1957 film 12 Angry Men. This critically acclaimed film powerfully
illustrates the dynamics of bargaining and the use of informal authority
with a focus on the role of personality. The film illustrates how, by
adopting the five behavioral strategies described by Moscovici, the
minority — in this case a lone dissenting juror — is able to successfully
negotiate and, against the odds, influence the overwhelming
majority comprising the other eleven jurors.

Minority Matters 12 Angry Men as a

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