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Population in the Human SciencesConcepts, Models, Evidence$
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Philip Kreager, Bruce Winney, Stanley Ulijaszek, and Cristian Capelli

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199688203

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199688203.001.0001

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An Introduction

An Introduction

(p.3) An Introduction
Population in the Human Sciences

Philip Kreager

Bruce Winney

Stanley Ulijaszek

Cristian Capelli

Oxford University Press

The tremendous expansion of population research over the last 50 years has proceeded on many levels, from genes and microorganisms to national and global entities. Elementary procedures of population definition are crucial because they shape possible lines of inquiry: the kinds of phenomena that can be recognized, how they are explored, varying research outcomes, and applications to human problems. Conventional statistical procedures, in specifying parameters at the outset of inquiry, are inappropriate when research objectives are to identify unknown relationships and discover parameters that may capture them. Central problems of population heterogeneity—the configuration of alleles in gene expression, the dynamics of species subgroups, the many shifting subgroups in national populations—thus require new, more open, methodologies. Developments in evolutionary biology and compositional demography reviewed here suggest that, while research functions on many levels, a common ground of problems and approaches is emerging in many parts of the human sciences.

Keywords:   population, evolutionary biology, compositional demography, population heterogeneity

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