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Case Studies Cross-Cultural Comparison
Developed by Michael Lassiter, Highland Park High/Middle School

The Impact of Civil War and Conflict on Identity

Theme and Core Questions:

  1. How do people define citizenship or nationality in the times of government crisis? To what degree does political instability affect the common person?

  2. What are the economic impacts (both positive and negative) of domestic conflict or civil war on the average citizen? What are some of the survival strategies used to deal with these impacts?

  3. How do the five themes of geography (location, place, human & environmental interaction, movement, and region formation) shape the decisions made by citizens during conflict or civil war?

  4. How do conflicts or civil wars affect religious institutions and the religious beliefs of the average man or woman?

  5. What is the history of power sharing between ethnic groups or social classes in the country affected by conflict or civil war? How do values and attitudes toward ethnicity, social class, and nationality change during civil war? What factors have an effect on these changes?

Overview: These lessons include a map activity, a comparison chart and an essay, building and drawing on the knowledge from the civil war country case studies.

Time Required: 3 class periods or 135 minutes

Suggested Grade Levels: Grades 8 12

Interdisciplinary Applications: Social Studies and Literature

NJ Core Content Standards: 6.3, 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, 6.7

Instructional Objectives:

  1. Define: nationalism, ethnicity, identity, civil war, history (textual and oral), sovereignty, religion, culture, country, nation, nation-state

  2. Identify some civil wars and conflicts that have been unresolved in modern times. For example: Vietnam, Nigeria, Lebanon, Yugoslavia, Colombia, etc.

  3. Explain how civil war impacts the common person.

  4. Analyze the effects of conflict on identity using PEERS.

  5. Synthesize the understanding of the impact of civil war or conflict on the common person by developing empathy for the various decisions they have to make.


  1. Map activity: Students should examine maps of Lebanon, Vietnam and Nigeria. Class discussion on the relationship of ethnicity, land and conflict.

  2. Comparison chart: Students should review the material from the case studies. Students should complete comparison chart with the information from the case studies via class discussion listing PEERS items on the board or chart paper. Students should review chart for homework in preparation for the essay the following day in class.

  3. Essay: Teacher should begin with a discussion on the central question of the essay, comparing the case studies. Using essay guidelines, students should write an essay comparing 2 of the case studies.




Map Activity
chart Essay
comparing the case studies

To learn more about the influence of Civil Wars on our global society, click on the links below:
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