The Problem with Algebraic Models of Marriage Structure
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James M. Cargal; The Math Forum  
Algebraic models of marriage systems have been in use for nearly fifty years. These models continue to be a matter of controversy. Most anthropologists have found algebraic models abstract and unnecessary. Mathematical scientists have tended to consider the value of these models selfevident. Cargal argues here that the anthropologists have been in large correct, and that the crux of the matter comes down to the question of what constitutes a mathematical model. Different mathematical cultures answer this question in different ways. Although there is some formal mathematical content to this note, it is written with the intent that the nonmathematical reader can easily absorb the gist.  


Levels:  High School (912), College 
Languages:  English 
Resource Types:  Preprints 
Math Topics:  Basic Algebra, Group Theory, Astronomy, Quantum Theory, Sociology/Anthropology 
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