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Owen-Smith says universities must demonstrate value of higher education

Armstrong says USC's removal of questions from a required Title IX training module may reflect student-administration relations

Fomby finds living with step- or half-siblings linked to higher aggression among 5 year olds

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PRB training program in policy communication for pre-docs. Application deadline, 2.28.2016

Call for proposals: PSID small grants for research on life course impacts on later life wellbeing

PSC News, fall 2015 now available

Barbara Anderson appointed chair of Census Scientific Advisory Committee

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Monday, Feb 1 at noon, 6050 ISR-Thompson
Sarah Miller

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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