PSC Brown Bags
will resume fall 2016
|Arland Thornton, Ronald Freedman, Bill Axinn|
July 2002. The Population Studies Center hosted a buffet lunch to recognize awards from two Center endowments: the Albert Hermalin Scholars Fund and the Ronald and Deborah Freedman Fund for International Population Activities. More than 50 faculty, staff, alumni, and friends attended. David Lam, Al Hermalin, and David Featherman spoke about the long history of collaboration of between PSC and institutions overseas. Everyone who attended will remember Ron Freedman's response to the plaque that was unveiled and his tribute to the many former students and other colleagues who worked with him and Deborah over the years.
The Freedman Fund was established at the time of Ron Freedman's retirement in 1986. The Hermalin Scholars Fund was created to honor Al Hermalin at the time of his retirement in 2000. A large number of donors helped establish the funds and many continue to send contributions.
The Center was extremely pleased to make the awards in 2002 for the research described below.
"The Demographic Transition and Children's Schooling in Brazil" Leticia Marteleto
"Gender, Reproduction and HIV/AIDS in Zambia" Ann Biddlecom, Research Investigator, Population Studies Center, with collaborators Frederick A.D. Kaona, Mary Tuba, and John Casterline
|International Scholars with PSC Researcher Ann Biddlecom|
HIV/AIDS has reached extremely high levels in a number of South and East African nations - an estimated 1 of every 4 people in Zambia is infected with the virus - and remains a critically important area in which to understand sexual and reproductive behavior. In 1996, Ann Biddlecom and John Casterline (both then working at the Population Council) collaborated with Zambian colleagues to conduct an in-depth survey on unmet need for contraception in the Copperbelt Province of Zambia. Qualitative interviews were conducted in the same year. The data, which have not been completely analyzed, are a rich source of information about reproductive preferences, behaviors, and decision-making. The Freedman Fund award will support a one-month visit to Ann Arbor by two Zambian colleagues to learn techniques for secondary data analysis and collaborate with Biddlecom and Casterline on a paper about spousal views of contraception, reproductive decision-making, and risk of HIV/AIDS infection.
Dr. Frederick A.D. Kaona, Director of the Mwengu Social and Health Research Centre, Ndola, Zambia, and Ms. Mary Tuba, M.A. in Medical Anthropology, will enroll in a summer course offered by ICPSR, "Introduction to Statistics and Data Analysis II." During the visit they will analyze the survey data on husbands and wives' views of HIV/AIDS risk, the methods used to prevent the spread of HIV (mainly male condom), and how these might be related to their reproductive preferences and decisions. The survey sample consists of 1,860 married women aged 15-44 and 1,056 husbands. The response rate was 90 per cent for eligible women and 76 per cent for husbands. Casterline will travel to Ann Arbor in mid-July as the analyses are getting underway. Biddlecom and the visitors will draft a paper in the following month.
"Developmental Idealism and Family and Population Dynamics in Nepal" Arland Thornton, Senior Research Scientist, Population Studies Center, with collaborators Dirgha Ghimire, William Axinn, Jennifer Barber, and Lisa Pearce.
In 2001 Arland Thornton served as President of the Population Association of America. This project grows directly out of his presidential address, in which he argued that the "developmental paradigm" dominated social sciences from the 1700s through the middle 1900s. According to this developmental model, societies undergo a natural and uniform development from rural and agricultural to urban and industrial, and from family-oriented and patriarchal to more individualistic and egalitarian. The developmental paradigm has been called into question as a scholarly model by recent research.
Associated with the developmental paradigm is a package of motivational propositions that Thornton labels "developmental idealism." This ideational package specifies that the "good life" is achieved in societies that are industrialized, urbanized, well-educated, and wealthy; that have a high degree of individual freedom; and that are replete with nonfamily institutions. Thornton argues that this developmental idealism continues to influence the thinking of ordinary people and policymakers in many parts of the world, with important consequences for demographic and family behavior.
The Freedman award will allow him to pursue this thesis with a pilot study in Nepal. He and his collaborators will create and pretest a survey questionnaire that explores beliefs in developmental idealism in Nepal and the way it affects the goals and behavior of Nepalese. The pilot study will provide a training experience for Nepali colleagues and students. If the preliminary data are usable, the team will seek outside funding to expand the study in Nepal and possibly to other countries.
Complementary funding will be provided by grants to PSC from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
"Family Issues in Argentina" Georgina Binstock, Arland Thornton
|Ronald Freedman and Lora Myers|
Georgina Binstock is a PhD alumna of the Population Studies Center. After receiving her degree in 2001, she took up a position in her home country at the Centro de Estudios de Poblacion, Buenos Aires, Argentina. An award from the Freedman Fund has allowed her to combine a trip to the 2002 annual meetings of the Population Association of America (PAA) with a 5-week working visit to Ann Arbor. In Atlanta, Dr. Binstock presented a paper on "Changing Attitudes toward Family Issues in Argentina, 1980-2002" (with M. Cerrutti). She also prepared a poster on "Plans, Motivations, and Union Transitions among Cohabitors," which was awarded a blue ribbon in its session. In Ann Arbor, she collaborated with Arland Thornton on several projects and publications related to marriage and the family. She also consulted with Thornton on future directions for her research in Argentina.
Dr. Binstock also received partial support from the Population Council to attend the 2002 PAA meetings in Atlanta, GA.
PSC Staff and Friends at the Awards Luncheon