IDSB04:Lecture 4 17:15
The demographic transition (chapter 2: box 2-2)
Virtually all societies have gone trough a transition from:
High mortality, high fertility OR
Low mortality, low fertility
This is a theory, not a fact, generation of families over time is an example, family
household decreases with each generation
Two social philosophers: Malthus and Marx
Thomas R.Malthus, An essay on the principle of population (1798): Population
increases geometrically ;subsistence arithmetically. Poverty is the result unless
there is moral restraint.
Problem is increasing arable land, watering, fertilization, and industrial
Karl Marx, Das Kapital (1867): Each mode of production has its corresponding
mode of reproduction
Feudalism where people where tied to land and the more offspring a family had the
more people were able to harvest therefore you had a low fertility rate
Possible Explanations for Decreased fertility
Shift from subsistence agriculture to factory means smaller family size needed.
Higher marginal cost of extra child in urban setting/decline of multi-family
More women educated and in paid labor force. Education could be more work
opportunities but it also mean more knowledge about contraceptive more
negotiating power in the family
Development of social security systems. No longer depending on your offspring
during your old age, there is a retirement plan.
Long workdays/shift work=less leisure time
Contraceptive technologies/birth spacing (1840s condoms).
Preference, economic conditions, family planning and population control which have
been coercive. Women in Puerto Rico were forced to sterilized in the 1800’s.
Abdel Omran and the Epidemiologic Transition
Long-term shifts in overall mortality rates and patterns of disease
As infectious disease reced (and life expectancy increases), they are replaced by
degenerative and so called manmade diseases.
Stages of the Transition (box 2-4)
Pestilence and famine
Women were more custom to eat less, after men and even after children. Women
were more resistance in time of great famine.
A range of factors lead to a lowering rate of pandemics
Quarantine measures and sanitation
Degenerative and human-made diseases