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Categories and Contexts : Anthropological and Historical Studies in Critical Demography - Simon Szreter

Categories and Contexts

Anthropological and Historical Studies in Critical Demography

By: Simon Szreter (Editor), Hania Sholkamy (Editor), A. Dharmalingam (Editor)

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Throughout its history as a social science, demography has been associated with an exclusively quantitative orientation for studying social problems. As a result, demographers tend to analyse population issues scientifically through sets of fixed social categories that are divorced from dynamic relationships and local contexts and processes. This volume questions these fixed categories in two ways. First, it examines the historical and political circumstances in which such categories had their provenance, and, second, it reassesses their uncritical applications over space and time in a diverse range of empirical case studies, encouraging throughout a constructive interdisciplinary dialogue involving anthropologists, demographers, historians, and sociologists. This volume seeks to examine the political complexities that lie at the heart of population studies by focusing on category formation, category use, and category critique. It shows that this takes the form of a dialectic between the needs for clarity of scientific and administrative analysis and the recalcitrant diversity of the social contexts and human processes that generate population change. The critical reflections of each chapter are enriched by meticulous ethnographic fieldwork and historical research drawn from every continent. This volume, therefore, exemplifies a new methodology for research in population studies, one that does not simply accept and re-use the established categories of population science but seeks critically and reflexively to explore, test, and re-evaluate their meanings in diverse contexts. It shows that for demography to realise its full potential it must urgently re-examine and contextualize the social categories used today in population research.

Industry Reviews

All of these chapters...can be read with interest by demographers; some of them offer striking insights. * Adrian C. Hayes, Population and Development Review, Vol. 32, No. 3 *

David Kertzer: Foreword List of Contributors Section 1 The historical anthropology of demography and its categories 1: S.Szreter with H.Sholkamy and A.Dharmalingam: Contextualising categories: towards a critical reflexive demography 2: P.Kreager: Objectifying demographic identities 3: 3. C.Briggs: Malthus' Anti-Rhetorical Rhetoric, or, on the Magical Conversion of the Imaginary into the Real Section 2 Categories as political interventions 4: S.Szreter with H.Sholkamy and A.Dharmalingam: Editors' Introduction 5: E.Higgs: The linguistic construction of social and medical categories in the work of the English General Register Office, 1837-1950 6: M.Nobles: Racial / Color Categorization in US and Brazilian Censuses 7: F.Hirsch: Toward a Soviet Order of Things:The 1926 Census and the Making of the Soviet Union 8: S.Greenhalgh: Making up China's "Black population" 9: S.Villaveces- Izquierdo: Internal diaspora and State imagination: Colombia's failure to envision a nation 10: C.Makhlouf-Obermeyer: Users, non-users, clients, and help-seekers: the use of categories in research on health behaviour 11: M.Collumbien et al: Etic and emic categories in male sexual health: a case study from Orissa Section 3 Contexts as critiques of categories 12: S.Szreter with H.Sholkamy and A.Dharmalingam: Editors' Introduction 13: A.Prohmmo and J.Bryant: Measuring the population of a northeast Thai village 14: J.Hirsch: 'Un noviazgo después de ser casados': Companionate marriage, sexual intimacy, and the modern Mexican family 15: E.Renne: Gender Roles and Women's Status: What They Mean to Hausa Muslim Women in Northern Nigeria 16: P.Davis: Re-contextualizing the Female-Headed Household: Culture and Agency in Uganda 17: M.Greene and B.Greenberg: Demography's Ecological Frontier: Rethinking the 'Nature' of the Household and Community 18: J.Adams and B.Kassakoff: Spillovers, subdivisions and flows: questioning the usefulness of 'bounded container' as the dominant metaphor in demography 19: S.Lubkemann: Situating migration in wartime and post-war Mozambique: a critique of "forced migration" research Index

ISBN: 9780199270576
ISBN-10: 0199270570
Series: International Studies in Demography
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 424
Published: 1st April 2004
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.2 x 16.2  x 2.8
Weight (kg): 0.77