Volume 16 - Article 16 | Pages 493–518

Disciplining anthropological demography

By Ernestina Coast, Kate Hampshire, Sara Randall

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Date received:26 Apr 2006
Date published:22 Jun 2007
Word count:7576
Keywords:anthropological demography, anthropology, demography, disciplinarity, epistemology, Europe, interdisciplinarity, low fertility, multidisciplinarity, reproductive decisions


This study furthers the epistemological development of anthropological demography, and its role in understanding the demography of Europe. Firstly we situate anthropological demography against the context of an evolving world of research in which boundaries between academic disciplines have become much more permeable. This is achieved via an overview of recent theoretical debates about the role and nature of disciplinarity, including interdisciplinarity, multidisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity. Secondly, in order to understand the current state of the art, we sketch out the evolution of anthropological demography, paying particular attention to the different knowledge claims of anthropology and demography. Finally, we flesh out some of the epistemological and theoretical debates about anthropological demography by sketching out the formative research process of our own work on low fertility in the UK.

Author's Affiliation

Ernestina Coast - London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom [Email]
Kate Hampshire - Durham University, United Kingdom [Email]
Sara Randall - University College London (UCL), United Kingdom [Email]

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