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Séminaire "Démodynamiques"

Postmodern fertility Preferences : from Changing Value Orientation to New Behavior

Dirk J. van de Kaa (*)

Jeudi 3 décembre 1998 de 14 à 15 heures, .

(*) Professor of Demography,   University of Amsterdam.


The term postmodernism appears to have a long history. It seems to have been used as early as the 1870s. A first book having the term in its title dates from 1926. At first it was used rather sparingly. Its use became more common in the 1950s and 1960s, while it suffused the 80s and 90s.

The term has not become part of the scientific discourse in demography. People shy away from it, understandably find it difficult to deal with, or have the vague, intuitive notion that it is better to steer clear of such an ill-defined concept.
In my presentation I aim to explore whether the term 'postmodernism', or one of its derivatives, could usefully have a place in demography and population studies. I shall, more particularly, do so with reference to the issues of fertility decline and fertility preferences in developed societies.

I shall argue that the term can denote a new historical era, in which case it is pertinent to discussions about the Second Demographic Transition. That it can denote the contemporary world view, in which case it is, likewise, pertinent to understanding contemporary demographic change. And, finally, that it may refer to an avant-gardistic value orientation.

Data from the World Value Surveys will be used to base first measurements upon.

La discussion sera introduite par Henri Leridon (INED)

Animateur de la séance : Antoine Bommier
L'exposé sera retransmis en direct puis en différé sur internet (audio)
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