, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 347–365 | Cite as

Population movement studied at microscale: Experience and extrapolation

  • Chapman Murray 


The context for this paper is the nature of generalization deriving from the study of particular cases of human behaviour. With specific reference to field research on population movement conducted amongst individuals, households, small groups, and village communities in third world societies, it challenges the convention that both generalization and extrapolation are based inevitably and exclusively on the number of cases or events subject to examination. An evaluation is made of the methodological aspects of four different studies of population mobility at microscale, undertaken between 1965 and 1977 in the Solomon Islands and northwest Thailand. On this basis, integrated field designs that incorporate a range of intersecting instruments are favoured for their technical flexibility and logical strength. With case studies of third world villages, market centres, and urban neighbourhoods, generalization and extrapolation is based on depth of understanding and the power of theoretical connections.


Environmental Management Small Group Specific Reference Field Research Human Behaviour 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chapman Murray 
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Hawaii at Manoa and East-West Population InstituteHonoluluUSA

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