Explaining Pre-Transitional Sub-Saharan Fertility Using a Multidimensional Ethnological Approach

Kambidima Wotela, University of the Witwatersrand

Inspired by the work of Frederic Pryor in anthropological economics, this article presents a multidimensional ethnological approach to explaining pre-transitional fertility in sub-Saharan traditional societies. The approach requires analysts to include only features that are important to, or influence, the phenomena under study. Therefore, this paper begins by reviewing Ron Lesthaeghe’s work that has discussed several arrangements underlying fertility in pre-transitional sub-Saharan traditional societies. The article then discusses how the several features underlying fertility in pre-transitional sub-Saharan traditional societies fit into the fertility determinants model. Since the paper interrogates the intersection of anthropology and demography, it inherently discusses how the multidimensional ethnological approach may mitigate flaws that affect integration of anthropological reasoning into demographic analysis. The approach uses research procedures and statistical tools that are appropriate to untangling complex demographic research problems.

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Presented in Poster Session 1