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  • A system by which people or objects are distinguished and organized into groups, usually called types. The members of a group may be identi fied by shared attributes that are supposed to be mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive. The classification of types facilitates the demonstration and analysis of data. However, the selection of combi nations of variables as inclusion criteria for a typology is argued to be subjective and, therefore, potentially invalid or inexact. In early anthropology, typologies were used to divide people of different cultures into “races,” a model that has since been discredited.

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