After conflict comes to an end, the conflicting parties reach an agreement and understanding which gives rise to a social process called “Accommodation”. It is essentially a process of temporary adjustment. The question of accommodation arises because people are certain that a conflict cannot continue for an indefinite period and if they will involve in the conflict they cannot lead their life happily and peacefully. Therefore, they find the means to reconcile the conflicting situation in spite of their differences. That is the reason for which Sumner termed accommodation as ‘antagonistic co-operation”.
The term Accommodation as an associative social process is synonymous to ‘adjustment’ or ‘adaptation’. Generally adjustment may be physical or social. Physical adjustment takes place through organic or structural modification transmitted by heredity. Similarly, social adjustment takes place through the acquisition of behavior patterns transmitted socially. On the other hand, adaptation is a biological process by which animals lower than men adjust with the physical environment. Thus, adjustment to physical environment is termed as adaptation and adjustment to social environment by social animal is termed as ‘accommodation’. Likewise adaptation is a biological process and accommodation is asocial process.
Sociologists define accommodation as follows:
Ougburn’and Nimkoff, “Accommodation is a term used by sociologists to describe the adjustment of hostile individuals or groups”.
Park and Burgess, “Accommodation is a process by which individuals and groups establish harmony in the social circumstances that come up as a result of competition and conflict”.
Gillin and Gilin, “Accommodation is the process by which competing and conflicting individuals and groups adjust their relationship to each other in order to overcome the difficulties which arise in competition, Contravention or conflict”.