The definition and understanding of concepts and the relationship between concepts and contexts are of critical concern in comparative research that crosses national, societal, cultural and linguistic boundaries. International comparisons may be rendered ineffectual by the lack of a common understanding of central concepts and the societal contexts within which phenomena are located. The assertion made in the 1970s by Donald P. Warwick and Samuel Osherson (1973: 14) that variability of concepts presented formidable problems of measurement and interpretation still holds true many decades later, and ‘the danger of culturally-bound misinterpretations or misunderstandings’ continues to be a largely unresolved issue for researchers from whatever discipline who are engaging in comparative studies (Grootings, 1986: 275).
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