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Population and Progress in a Yoruba Town

Publication Abstract

Renne, Elisha. 2003. Population and Progress in a Yoruba Town. Ann Arbor MI: University of Michigan Press.

This study of local perceptions of population and development in a rural southwestern Nigerian town questions some of the underlying assumptions of the demographic theory of fertility transition. Fertility transition theory and modernisation theory from which it derives have not explained why fertility remains high, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, despite the presence of some conditions associated with its decline in Western societies, nor why development, despite a plethora of projects, has failed to 'take-off'. As this study demonstrates, neither fertility change nor development follows a universal trajectory. Whether lower fertility or Western models of development are viewed as possible or advantageous reflects cultural ideas about proper social relations as well as political and economic conditions, which may hinder or facilitate these changes.

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