Reproduction and Human Development- By now in this class you are realizing that, although we all belong to the same species, the cultural meanings that we assign to different aspects of being human can be very different among different cultures. Remember from the first chapter, in the section entitled ?Culture Is Not the Same as Nature?, Barbara Miller talks about eating, drinking, sleeping and eliminating. These are the universal human functions that everyone must perform to stay alive. We might expect that these are carried out similarly in different cultures. To most students? surprise, there is a lot of variability in the behaviors and beliefs surrounding these basic human functions! This is also true of ideas and practices about fertility, birth, and raising children. Reproduction is a universal part of every culture. However, the meanings assigned to different stages in reproduction and the overall patterns of reproduction observed varies among cultures. And, as you will have an opportunity to discuss in the discussion boards, children are socialized very differently in different cultures. Reproduction and Human Development- There are three basic questions that we will be exploring in this unit: How are modes of production related to modes of reproduction? How does culture shape fertility? How does culture shape personality over the life cycle? Reproduction and Human Development- Remember from the previous unit that a Mode of production is the dominant way a culture makes a living. Do you remember the five modes of production? (pause) They are foraging, horticulture, pastoralism, agriculture and industrialism/informatics. A Mode of reproduction is the dominant pattern of fertility in a culture. What does fertility mean? Fertility means the rate of births in a population, or the rate of population increase in general. So, a mode of reproduction tells us something about the overall rate of growth of a population. The mode of production and the mode of reproduction are two aspects of culture that are interlinked. There are three major patterns of reproduction which correspond to three of the major modes of production: the Foraging Mode of Reproduction; the Agricultural Mode of Reproduction; and the Industrial/informatics Mode of Reproduction. Foraging Mode of Reproduction- Miller p. 78 ?The Foraging Mode of Reproduction?, basically foraging societies, at least from a modern example, probably had a good deal of control over their fertility. They were capable of limiting population growth naturally, often to just one or two children surviving to adulthood, which is almost exactly the stable population replacement rate. Agricultural Mode of Reproduction- Agricultural Mode of Reproduction Agriculture and sedentism are associated with the highest fertility rates of any mode of production. Pronatalism, an ideology promoting many children, is a key value in farm families. Farmers need a large labor force to work the land, care for animals, process food and sell farm products. Having many children makes sense in farming cultures, and, as a result, is valued in farm cultures. This, in fact, is a form of ?family planning?: to have lots of kids! The Hutterites and Mennonites in the U.S., Canada and Mexico have the highest fertility rates in the world! The Amish, a closely related cultural group, also have high fertility rates. Women have, on average, between 8 and 10 children. It is not uncommon for outsiders to see a ?problem? with having so many children. However, having many children in a family farming system makes economic sense because it furthers the economic and social goals of the family farm, a type of farming we discussed in the last unit. Industrial / Informatics Mode of Reproduction- Industrial/Informatics Mode of Reproduction In industrial societies, reproduction declines quite substantially when compared with the agricultural mode of reproduction. When the number of births equals the number of deaths, that is, for every person who dies, there is a child born, this is known as replacement-level fertility. This means that there is no net growth; each person who dies is replaced by a new person. When the number of births is less than the number of deaths, there is overall population decline and this is called below-replacement-level fertility. Overall, the population is growing smaller. What causes this decline in fertility? Remember, a family farm needs a lot of workers. As a result, family farmers value having lots of children. In industrial societies, adult individuals work for a wage with which they purchase basic necessities. Children are not needed in the process of production. In addition, children usually have to attend school. They cannot work for their families during the school year. Parents have fewer children and invest more resources in them. Slide 7- Demographers are people who study the statistics of any population. They have identified what is called the Demographic Transition. This is a historical process that many countries have gone through in which the agricultural pattern of high fertility and high mortality (or ?death rate?) becomes the industrial pattern of low fertility and low mortality. This generally happens in two phases. During the first phase, mortality declines because of improved nutrition and health care, such as the widespread use of vaccines and better sanitation policies. As a result, population growth rates increase. During the second phase, fertility declines because of the decreased need for children in industrial societies. Low rates of population growth become the dominant pattern. Scholars have noted some problems with this model because it attributes this transition entirely to the emergence of industrialism. However, if we take the example of China, for example, the government sponsored a massive family planning program, the one-child per couple policy, which decreased fertility even in rural, agricultural areas. Another problem with the model is what scholars have referred to as stratified reproduction. This is a concept used to explain how members of different classes have different fertility patterns. This pattern is common in so-called ?developing countries? where there can be stark economic differences between classes. For example, in Brazil and Mexico, to take two examples I am familiar with, the middle-class and upper-class have few children. These are the members of society that have good jobs and access to good health care. Their children have high-survival rates and virtually all reach adulthood. Among the poor, however, there is a lack of employment and a lack of access to suitable health care. As a result, fertility is higher and mortality is higher as well. We will read an article ?Death Without Weeping? which explores how fertility, mortality and ideas about death are linked in a shanty town in Brazil in a few weeks. The Link of Culture to Fertility- I just wanted to point out Figure 4.1 because it clearly shows how the mode of reproduction and mode of production are two aspects of culture that are linked together. I like these tables which are sprinkled throughout the textbook because I think they do a good job of summarizing the information in a way that makes the connections between concepts clear. The rest of the chapter deals with how culture shapes fertility, and how culture shapes personality through the process of enculturation or socialization. Read the chapter carefully; you?ll have an opportunity to discuss these issues in the discussion boards this week. travisj C:\Documents and Settings\TravisJ\Desktop\Personal\School\ASB 102\Lecture 4.wpd
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