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Toy story: homophily, transmission and the use of simple models in assessing variability in the archaeological record.

Drost, C. and Vander Linden, M., 2020. Toy story: homophily, transmission and the use of simple models in assessing variability in the archaeological record. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 25 (4), 1087 - 1108.

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DOI: 10.1007/s10816-018-9394-y

Abstract

The interpretation of spatial and temporal patterns in the archaeological record remains a long-standing issue in the discipline. Amongst many methods and interpretations, modelling of ‘biased transmission’ has proved a successful strategy to tackle this problem. Here, we investigate a type of biased transmission, homophily, that is the tendency of individuals to associate and bond with similar others. In contrast to other social sciences, homophily remains underused in archaeology. In order to fill this gap, we develop six distinct variants of a well-established modelling framework borrowed from social science, Axelrod’s Cultural Dissemination Model. These so-called toy models are abstract models used for theory-building and aim at exploring the interplay between homophily and various factors (e.g. addition of spatial features such as mountains and coastlines, diffusion of innovations and population spread). The relevance and implications of each ‘toy model’ for archaeological reasoning are then discussed.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:1072-5369
Uncontrolled Keywords:Modelling; Homophily; Cultural transmission; Variability; Axelrod’s cultural dissemination model; Spatially explicit simulation
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:33615
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:01 Jul 2020 10:14
Last Modified:01 Jul 2020 10:14

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