William W. Dressler

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Virtual anthropology

William W. Dressler home page

Bill Dressler is a medical anthropologist at the University of Alabama. He and and Kathryn Oths (University of Alabama) have taught "Demystifying SPSS™: Anthropological Data Management and Analysis Made Easy" at the NSF One–Day Workshops on Research Methods in Anthropology (WRMA). He is one of the first to make use of the SCCSvar1-2008Map.sav SCCS data files files.


Google hits on the title of his Dec 2009 AAA paper: Intracultural Diversity and the Measurement of Cultural Consonance. DRW has a copy in pdf. Abstract: Cultural consonance is the degree to which individuals approximate, in their own beliefs and behaviors, the prototypes for belief and behavior encoded in shared cultural models. Higher cultural consonance is associated with better health, as measured by blood pressure, immune status and psychological distress. The concept of cultural consonance is derived from a cognitive theory of culture. In this theory, culture is conceptualized as a set of learned and shared models that define basic goals for everyday life. The degree to which these models are shared can be inferred using cultural consensus analysis. Cultural consensus analysis can also be used to estimate the value placed on a particular configuration of elements within a cultural model. This configuration can then be used to develop a measure of cultural consonance, or the degree to which individuals incorporate these valued elements into their daily lives. In research on cultural consonance to date, cultural models of basic social goals have been widely shared in the social contexts studied. Recent work with the cultural consensus model suggests ways in which intracultural diversity can be detected, even in the presence of strong cultural consensus. This is referred to as the analysis of residual agreement. In this paper, I explore the implications of the analysis of residual agreement for the measurement of cultural consonance. Results indicate that, although nuances in intracultural diversity can be detected using the analysis of residual agreement, these nuances have little effect on the measurement of cultural consonance in the presence of overall cultural consensus.