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COSSA makes 10 suggestions to next Administration for supporting and using social science research

Thompson says US prison population is 'staggeringly high' at about 1.5 million, despite 2% drop for 2015

Levy et al. find Michigan's Medicaid expansion boosted state's economy while increasing number of insured

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2017 PAA Annual Meeting, April 27-29, Chicago

NIH funding opportunity: Etiology of Health Disparities and Health Advantages among Immigrant Populations (R01 and R21), open Jan 2017

Russell Sage 2017 Summer Institute in Computational Social Science, June 18-July 1. Application deadline Feb 17.

Russell Sage 2-week workshop on social science genomics, June 11-23, 2017, Santa Barbara

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Mon, Jan 23, 2017 at noon:
Decline of cash assistance and child well-being, Luke Shaefer

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.

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