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Assessing Bias: The Qualitative in the Quantitative, Darfuri War Fatalities and the Morality of War

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DOI: 10.4236/sm.2011.13013    6,199 Downloads   11,273 Views   Citations
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ABSTRACT

This paper formulates a strategy for assessing bias, and applies it to quantitative assessments of the disaster of war in Darfur [Sudan]. In so doing it argues for qualitative investigations of quantitative analyses. The strategy examines epistemic and political regimes with the goal of revealing the sources, the directions, and the forces of bias. Examples of bias are discussed to illustrate the strategy including, among others, the draw-a-person IQ test, questions about how old you are or whether you can bear children in Chad, and the US army’s Human Terrain System. Considerable attention is paid to US governmental biasing of its claims of war fatalities and genocide in Darfur. This biasing is shown to involve cherry picking, symbolic violence, and high-channel regimes of bias. It is shown how the bias assessment strategy may be of use in evaluating moral claims.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Reyna, S. (2011). Assessing Bias: The Qualitative in the Quantitative, Darfuri War Fatalities and the Morality of War. Sociology Mind, 1, 105-113. doi: 10.4236/sm.2011.13013.

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