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Measuring Population Diversity

Stanley Lieberson
American Sociological Review
Vol. 34, No. 6 (Dec., 1969), pp. 850-862
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2095977
Page Count: 13
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Measuring Population Diversity
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Abstract

Viewing diversity as the position of a population along a homogeneity-heterogeneity continuum, a general method is presented for describing diversity within and between groups that are classified by one or more qualitative variables. This method has a wide range of applications, including such phenomena as attitudinal concensus, political cleavage, residential isolation, linguistic communication, cohesion, as well as the general diversity of populations. Diversity is operationally defined as the probability of obtaining unlike characteristics when two persons are randomly paired. Computation of the indexes of diversity within a population, Aw, and between two populations, Ab, is illustrated with data drawn from several substantive areas in sociology.

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