IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

What kind of theory for anthropological demography?


  • Jennifer Johnson-Hanks

    (University of Texas at Austin)


This paper argues that demographic anthropology has, for most part, imported rather than exported theory. Yet, the discipline has the potential to generate important rethinking of population, culture, and their interaction. After discussing the state of the field and the challenges that must be faced in developing new theoretical approaches in demographic anthropology, the paper suggests a framework for research based on the related ideas of the "demographic conjuncture" and "construal."

Suggested Citation

  • Jennifer Johnson-Hanks, 2007. "What kind of theory for anthropological demography?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 16(1), pages 1-26, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:16:y:2007:i:1

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sara Mclanahan, 2004. "Diverging destinies: How children are faring under the second demographic transition," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 41(4), pages 607-627, November.
    2. Nicola Branson & Cally Ardington & Murray Leibbrandt, 2015. "Health Outcomes for Children Born to Teen Mothers in Cape Town, South Africa," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63(3), pages 589-616.
    3. David Lam, 2011. "How the World Survived the Population Bomb: Lessons From 50 Years of Extraordinary Demographic History," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(4), pages 1231-1262, November.
    4. Joshua Angrist & Victor Lavy & Analia Schlosser, 2010. "Multiple Experiments for the Causal Link between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(4), pages 773-824, October.
    5. David Lam & Letícia Marteleto, 2008. "Stages of the Demographic Transition from a Child's Perspective: Family Size, Cohort Size, and Children's Resources," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 34(2), pages 225-252.
    6. Joseph Potter & Carl Schmertmann & Suzana Cavenaghi, 2002. "Fertility and development: evidence from Brazil," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 39(4), pages 739-761, November.
    7. Vimal Ranchhod & David Lam & Murray Leibbrandt & Leticia Marteleto, 2011. "Estimating the effect of adolescent fertility on educational attainment in Cape Town using a propensity score weighted regression," SALDRU Working Papers 59, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    8. David I. Levine & Gary Painter, 2003. "The Schooling Costs of Teenage Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing: Analysis with a Within-School Propensity-Score-Matching Estimator," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 884-900, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Laura Bernardi & Inge Hutter, 2007. "The anthropological demography of Europe," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 17(18), pages 541-566, December.
    2. Alessandra Gribaldo & Maya D. Judd & David I. Kertzer, 2009. "An Imperfect Contraceptive Society: Fertility and Contraception in Italy," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 35(3), pages 551-584.

    More about this item


    anthropological demography; demographic anthropology; social theory;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:16:y:2007:i:1. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Editorial Office). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.