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An introduction to anthropological demography

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  • Laura Bernardi

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

Abstract

Anthropological demography is a specialty within demography which uses anthropological theory and methods to provide a better understanding of demographic phenomena in current and past populations. Its genesis and ongoing growth lie at the intersection between demography and socio-cultural anthropology and with their efforts to understand population processes, mainly fertility, migration, and mortality. Both disciplines share a common research object, namely human populations, and they focus on mutually complementary aspects of this research object: demography is statistically oriented and is mainly concerned with the dynamic forces defining population size and structure and their variation across time and space, whereas socio-cultural anthropology is interpretative and focuses on the social organization shaping the production and reproduction of human populations. The main theoretical concepts in anthropological demography are culture, gender, and political economy; its empirical research approach includes a mix of quantitative and qualitative methodologies applied to case studies. Ethnographic fieldwork and participant observation are often central to this approach as is an interpretative reading of secondary data and historical material.

Suggested Citation

  • Laura Bernardi, 2007. "An introduction to anthropological demography," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2007-031, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2007-031
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Francesco C. Billari & Hans-Peter Kohler, 2002. "Patterns of lowest-low fertility in Europe," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2002-040, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    2. Ajzen, Icek, 1991. "The theory of planned behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 179-211, December.
    3. Laura Bernardi & Andreas Klärner & Holger von der Lippe, 2006. "Perceptions of job instability and the prospects of parenthood. A comparison between Eastern and Western Germany," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2006-017, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    4. Francesco C. Billari & Chris Wilson, 2001. "Convergence towards diversity? Cohort dynamics in the transition to adulthood in contemporary Western Europe," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-039, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    5. repec:cai:poeine:pope_202_0301 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Michaela Kreyenfeld, 2005. "Economic uncertainty and fertility postponement: evidence from German panel data," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2005-034, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    anthropology; culture; ethnography; fertility; field activity; gender; methods of analysis; migration; mortality;

    JEL classification:

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

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