Cross-cultural research: defining indicators Graham Mytton from BBC World Service describes some of.

Cross-cultural research: defining indicators

Graham Mytton from BBC World Service describes some of the
issues involved in defining key indicators for cross-cultural use.

Why this case study is worth reading

This case study is worth reading for two reasons: it
illustrates one of the barriers to be overcome in doing crosscultural research.

The key words are: indicators, compared across cultures,
household, interpretations, precise terms.

Indicators

Terms like household, occupation and the demographic
indicators of education, social class and income level are a problem to define
in

Cross-cultural research: defining indicators

Graham Mytton from BBC World Service describes some of the
issues involved in defining key indicators for cross-cultural use.

Why this case study is worth reading

This case study is worth reading for two reasons: it
illustrates one of the barriers to be overcome in doing crosscultural research.

The key words are: indicators, compared across cultures,
household, interpretations, precise terms.

Indicators

Terms like household, occupation and the demographic
indicators of education, social class and income level are a problem to define
in a way which can be compared across cultures. In Northern Nigeria, for
example, where people can live in large extended family compounds, what does
household mean? If such a compound or gida is to be defined as a household it
will be an important factor in making comparisons with household data from
elsewhere where households may be defined differently. Different
interpretations of some words used in questionnaires can be problematic.
Precise terms may not be understood in the same way. Even periods of time such
as a week, a month or a year may have different lengths. The day may begin not
at midnight, but at dawn or dusk. Collecting data on age can be a major
problem. The practice of knowing ones birthday, or even birth year, is
certainly not universal. One way is to try to work out the persons age by
finding out events which happened at key times in the respondents life. Can he
or she remember independence or the start of the civil war or certain floods,
volcanic eruptions or other events? Were these before or after puberty?

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