The World Cultures eJournal welcomes articles, data, and comparative research material dealing with any aspect of human behavior. Publication of any comparative database, regional or worldwide, will be considered. Submissions of programs and teaching materials are welcomed, as are communications on research, coding, sources, and other materials of interests to comparative researchers.
Volume 17, Issue 2, 2010
A Scale for Markets and Property in the Societies of the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample: a Linear Programming Approach.
Cross-cultural researchers often combine several component variables into a composite index or “scale.” The value of a scale for a particular observation is sensitive not only to the values of its component variables, but also to the values of the weights used to combine the components. This sensitivity to weight values is unfortunate, given that the choice of weighting scheme is in some ways arbitrary. A method is presented here, based on linear programming, which reduces the sensitivity of a scale to the component weights. An example scale is produced, for the prevalence of markets and property rights in the societies of the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample. A program, written for GAMS, is included.
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This article derives seven ethno-geographical clusters comprising ethnic societies with similar histories, regional settlements and common kinship lineage arrangements. The procedure reveals the origin of social diversity in Zambia. To explore the usefulness of these clusters, we apply population counts to explain the genesis of the seven ‘official’ languages from several Zambian languages. Comparing and contrasting ethno-geographical clusters reveals features underlying ethnic similarities and differences in Zambia. We resolve that common origin and migrations that occurred between the twelfth and nineteenth century define ethnic distinctions in Zambia. These characteristics provide a lens through which we can place and analyze current social, linguistic, political, and demographic forces. Compared to provincial administrative regions, ethno-geographical clusters are useful units-of-analysis for comparing ethnic differentials in Zambia.
This study compares ideal age ascription across family life Muslim and Santal cultures in rural Bangladesh. We hypothesized that age ascription for family life situation occurs earlier in the Santal culture than in the Muslim culture in rural Bangladesh. One hundred couples (70 Muslim and 30 Santal) were selected by cluster random sampling from the Kalna village situated in the Tanore Upazila of Rajshahi district, Bangladesh, and were intensively interviewed by author. Results reveal significant differences in ideal age assignment between the Muslim and Santal communities. Further cross-cultural study should be done how socio-cultural factors influence variations in ideal age status assignment between the two communities in Bangladesh.