Class Notes (837,550)
Canada (510,314)
Sociology (3,261)
SOC101Y1 (985)
Lecture 9

Lecture 9 Nov 22.rtf

11 Pages
Unlock Document

Matthias Koenig

BIRTH RATES (LECTURE 9 NOV. 22)  How do birth rates vary with type of society?  Three important kinds of birth rates: CRUDE BIRTH RATES - Birth rate for the whole population -e.g. number of births per 1,000 population in 1900 - Important because (crude birth rate ) - (crude death rate) = population growth AGE-SPECIFIC FERTILITY RATES - the birth rate for women in a given age group at a given time TFR = TOTAL FERTILITY RATE – average number of children women would have if they lived according to birth rates at the time - average of age specific birth rate- on the whole how high is the birth rate – good for comparing societies! - Calculated for a particular time period, e.g. 1961 - Is the number of children a woman would have, if she had children according to the age-specific fertility rates prevailing at that time - Similar to the way “life expectancy” sums up the mortality rates at a given time TFR by TYPE OF SOCIETY HUNTERS AND GATHERERS (see text) - Range of TFR: 2.5 to 8 or more 5 for !Kung (average or typical rate 8 for Ache (on the high end- perhaps because of a high calorie meat intensive diet) - There is a big range here (2.5-8) more variety than more developed countries today! The low end of this range -unusual -may reflect unusual hardships such as famine -given typical death rates for foragers, = population would shrink o 2.5 - This low would mean something is wrong – disease? Insufficient food? o Not sustained for hunting and gathering – (2.5) that is because of the high death rate! o Nancy Howell looked into this, looking at Kung- if the Kung’s TFR the population should at least stay as big- grow a bit for cushion again disaster years- she found this in her study – the population would grow just a little bit in the long run 1 Middle end of range -!Kung, at 5, a little below average but close -Howell calculates that !Kung rate would go with a roughly stable population size -foraging rates were often a bit higher, perhaps giving a cushion against occasional high death rates from famine, epidemic, etc. High end of range -also unusual -may reflect unusually rich food supply -e.g. Ache moved into unpopulated territory, no competition for food -if sustained, would produce population boom -given typical forager death rates, not the terrible ones Ache experienced upon contact with European settlers How “big” are these foraging fertility rates???  How big COULD they be? à Hutterites have maximally favourable conditions for high birth rates - Marry young, and low death rates mean both partners are likely to survive until the end of the wife’s fertile years - Food nutrition, community support, general health - Little or no use of contraception -Hence the estimated TFR for married Hutterite women in 1950s was: 12.4 (!!!) Hutterities example in 1950s- because they did everything they could to produce as many kids as possible – TFR estimation was 12.4 for women- just the average!! THE hUTTERITES - A religious group that started in Austria in the 16 century- live according to the Bible - Religious principles include: o Pacifism  Refuse to do any kind of military service or to pay taxes that support military activity  Since modern states demand support of their militaries, the Hutterites have often been persecuted and forced to move to maintain their beliefs • One fairly recent example during WWI the Hutterites had colonies in Dakota. Four men who refused to serve were imprisoned and tortured. Two of them die • Most Hutterites then moved to the Canadian Prairies o Another principle of Pacifism: Living in isolation in small colonies  Isolated, to more easily maintain their religious practices and way of life  Small, to facilitate communal life • Build row houses in which each nuclear family has an apartment • Men work together on heavier farming tasks, and running the colony • Women work together on cooking, sewing, child care, producing vegetables • All children are supported equally by the colony as a whole • Meals are prepared and consumed in groups • Communal, but not fully democratic • Some people are “bosses” of particular kinds of work: work with cattle, cooking, etc. All management positions are elected • But only married men can vote in colony decision making o Though the women definitely make some input informally  When the colony gets “too big” new land’s purchased and some people leave to set up a new colony • Colonies tend to be about 60 – 160 people, with a maximum of 250 o Being self-sufficient – to minimize dependence on outside world and the influence the outside world has  Produce as much as possible of what they need • E.g., the women in charge of clothing will select and buy cloth, which is sewn into traditional garments in the colony  Keep as many services as possible on site, for example, have kindergartens and schools in the colony to provide the basic education required by law o = well fed people, access to modern medicine, active lifestyle no birth control, married early, got everything in place for having lots of kids Marrying young and having as many kids as possible- all forms of birth control and abortion were considered sinful – while having many children was good - A note on primary mode of subsistence technology * o Hutterites were not farmers to start with, but became so some time ago, and have relied mainly on farming for some time  They readily adopt useful new farming technology (including some “green” ones like capture of methane for fuel)  Very productive farmers, and very modest in life style so a colony can thrive on much less land than other people need o Rises in the price of land and difficulties in farming profitably have led some groups to introduce some manufacturing - They tend to limit technology like internet access that may threaten group isolation and solitary ; TV and movie forbidden – cellphones are okay for texting and communication HELPS YOU UNDERSTAND THEIR HUGE BIRTH RATE OF 12… 3 A Fertility Update - While fertility was extraordinarily high in the 1950s, it has declined steadily since then o While still high compared to others in the same rural areas - Some evidence indicates that a substantial minority of Hutterite women started using birth control, despite traditional religious band on this o Have access to the health care system and can get birth control from their doctors privately o What might Lenski et al. Say about this? - People are also marrying somewhat later. Your reading 11d (“Fertility Rates”) cites a speculation by Leridon: if women married early, and did not breastfeed, their maximum might be as high as 17 - 18; but there are no recorded examples of societies with average TFR as high as that. So why are foraging rates so LOW by comparison to the highest real TFR, 12 or so for the Hutterites? -“critical fatness” hypothesis: women cannot get pregnant if incredibly skinny, if body fat very low- they cannot have children, stop having periods – no one should confuse dieting with birth control - Continuous nursing- carry the baby everywhere – children are constantly nursing- jolt of anti-pregnancy hormone The critical fatness hypothesis provides a mechanism for enriching the theory of Malthus: -lust –> sex –> high birth rate – > large population –> starvation –> reduced population Malthus argued that this nasty cycle could only be prevented by: -Increasing deaths, e.g. war, epidemics -Preventing births by self-control, e.g. postponing marriage or avoiding sex The critical fatness hypothesis suggests that birth rates may be self-regulating -too large population – > too little food –> low fat –> few births -may be an evolutionary adaptation to keep population in line with food supply without mass deaths Note the pictures of !Kung people at various ages, at the end of Howell, “Life History Stages” - see how skinny they all look HORTICULTURAL SOCIETIES The invention of farming brings: -more food -early weaning easier (more weaning food like cow’s milk) eliminate jolt of hormone -need to wean earlier to free up mother’s time for farm work -thus TFR rises, and so does population size = women have more babies in these early farming societies Farming societies vary considerably in their TFRs (see reading 11d) because: - women’s average age at first marriage varied greatly - in premodern Europe, average was about 25 - Lenski et al. population size is different in different kinds of societies! – we see this here… - Does not mean all farming societies had high TFRs this ranges with rate of first marriage! - in Asian and African farming societies, women married closer to the age of puberty - societies varied in a number of other cultural practices related to TFR - whether widows could marry again (European widow could marry again vs. Asian widows who should not re-marry = CULTURAL PRACTICES BIG INFLUENCERS) - rates of infanticide, abortion, breastfeeding - famine reduced fertility - in periods of hardship, people often postponed marriage, or avoided sexual intercourse if married Pre-modern societies had higher birth rates than ours- but never got close to the real human maximum, besides Hutterites Both cultural practices and hard times kept TFRs lower than they could have been. Thus fertility rates in premodern farming societies were higher than ours, but still nowhere near maximal. - e.g. reading 11d estimates that premodern European and East Asian TFRs were “somewhat over five” – only slightly higher than the likely average for hunting and gathering societies INDUSTRIAL SOCIETIES -industrialization brought the “demographic transition” (see M+P reading for details of how this occurred)- meaning a huge amount of change in birth and death rates- First there is a decrease in death rates in Europe at different times and places. -1. Death rates fell 5 -birth rates stayed high for a time -a stage of population explosion - This meant it was no longer necessary to have as many babies to ensure one or two would live long enough to support family. The motivation for a lot of kids faded, farming families did not have so much need for the labour because machinery did more of the labour. - However this takes time, to realize death rates fall and change practices- this is called “CULTURAL LAG” – the world changes, but our cultural practices change too but rather slowly -2. THEN birth rates fell - There was a prior population growth with the death rates falling - population growth slowed - -by now, death and birth rates are both very low, and first world countries have very small population growth rates or are even starting to shrink Why did birth rates fall? (well they could, seeing more birth control available – huge moral battles over birth control) -Greater expectation of child’s survival -Less need for large numbers of children -as workers, or as old age supporters -Greater expense of rearing children -Greater control of fertility - (recently) greater female labour force participation Why did they not fall sooner? -some factors (e.g. reliabl
More Less

Related notes for SOC101Y1

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.