Home > Publications . Search All . Browse All . Country . Browse PSC Pubs . PSC Report Series

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Former trainee Herbert says residential squatters may be a good thing

Work by Couper, Farley et al. shows impact of racial composition on neighborhood choice

Thompson details killings and shaping of official narrative in 1971 Attica prison uprising

More News

Highlights

Michigan ranked #12 on Business Insider's list of 50 best American colleges

Frey's new report explores how the changing US electorate could shape the next 5 presidential elections, 2016 to 2032

U-M's Data Science Initiative offers expanded consulting services via CSCAR

Elizabeth Bruch promoted to Associate Professor

Next Brown Bag

PSC Brown Bags
will resume fall 2016

Tom E. Fricke photo

Culture and Causality: An Anthropological Comment

Publication Abstract

Fricke, Tom E. 2003. "Culture and Causality: An Anthropological Comment." Population and Development Review, 29(3): 470-479.

Anthropology's unique contribution to a discussion of causality is rooted in its specialization in culture rather than in methodological protocols for bolstering our confidence in correlations. This is so because causal arguments are inherently interpretive and, moreover, because human actors themselves operate in terms of meaning. The best interpretive models direct analytic attention to contexts of meaning and motivation. Because these meanings lie inside of people's heads, the interpretation of causality in these terms demands that the validity of analyses be argued for in terms of logical coherence based on highly localized criteria. As with all explanations of human behavior, demographic explanations are as a consequence open to constant reformulation based on new information and the never-ending search for coherence.

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next