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By Fredrik Fahlander.

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12 Likewise, functional concepts or systems theory might be useful to find interesting aspects of more macro-oriented orientation, which can be contrasted or related to micro-level studies of the same data. The point is to differentiate general theory from analytical concepts and keep in mind that the concepts are interpretative tools that produce etic categories. The results might have very little to do with any emic reality, but perhaps serve as a basis for further, more elaborate interpretations.

He also showed that social identity is likely to be displayed in corresponding discrepancies in burial practices. Variations among cultural units in frequencies of various forms of mortuary treatment vary in response to (a) the frequency of the character symbolised by the mortuary form in the relevant population and (b) the number and distribution of different characteristics symbolised in mortuary treatment as a function of t h e complexity and degree of differentiation characteristic of the relevant society (1971:25).

The generative forces behind these increasing networks may be linked to environmental effects, capitalist market forces, ideological effects, or simply due to increasing population. It seems plausible that many cross-cultural 38 3. Social practice and social formations sociocultural similarities are better understood in such a perspective than in terms of evolutionary or biological causes. Apparently, it is hard to neglect the obviously increasing significance of regional and global networks during recent centuries, but the proposed process of 'homogenisation of culture' is certainly not a unique theme of the latest 400 years of Western colonisation.

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