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Other titles in the Case Studies on Contemporary Social Issues series:
A Crisis of Birthsby Elizabeth L. Krause
Synopses & ReviewsPlease note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.
This book tells the story of one society's remarkable experience when Italians in the late 1990s attained the lowest birthrate per women of any nation in the world. This case study draws on two years of ethnographic fieldwork over a five year period, to examine the conflicts as well as the possibility that this trend in family-making has created for an otherwise family-centered culture. Krause's innovative project seeks to understand a pressing contemporary issue, and the 'story' she tells takes readers behind the scenes of demographic numbers to reveal what aggregate statistics cannot--a cultural 'politics of population' in which Italians struggle over the meanings of family and children in contemporary society. The reader will gain an in-depth understanding of why Italy's birthrate has fallen so low and what this means for Italians as individuals and Italy as a society and how reproduction has become politicized. The author finds answers in intensely personal dialogues with ordinary people ranging from sweater-makers to counts, and aging bachelors to doting mothers. Their life experiences reveal how a silent revolution against patriarchy reshapes social and sexual morality to create new imperatives for family making. The author hopes to prompt different and critical thinking about populations and the cultural struggles related to the politics of everyday life in modern society.
Book News Annotation:
In this case study, Krause (anthropology, U. of Massachusetts, Amherst) identifies those factors that caused Italy to attain the lowest birthrate in the world. Drawing upon interviews conducted with Italians from all walks of life and economic levels, Krause discusses some of the reasons why Italian women are choosing to have fewer and fewer children and why political and religious leaders have failed in their attempts to halt or reverse this trend.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
When reproduction becomes a political issue, where do you stand? A CRISIS OF BIRTHS: POPULATION POLITICS AND FAMILY MAKING IN ITALY tells the fascinating story of Italian families in the 1990s, when Italy had the lowest birthrate of any nation in the world. You'll gain an in-depth understanding of why Italy's birthrate has fallen so low and what this means for Italians as individuals and Italy as a society and how reproduction has become politicized. Personal dialogues with ordinary people ranging from sweater-makers to counts, and aging bachelors to doting mothers reveal how a silent revolution against patriarchy reshapes social and sexual morality to create new imperatives for family making.
About the Author
Elizabeth Betsy Krause practiced journalism in Missouri and Oregon before obtaining her MA degree (Oregon State University) in applied anthropology and her Ph.D. degree (The University of Arizona) in cultural anthropology. She has conducted fieldwork in Micronesia, Italy, Oregon, and Arizona. Her numerous articles have appeared in a range of publications, including Human Organization, Journal of Historical Anthropology, Transforming Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology, Journal of Modern Italian Studies as well as Newsday. She has contributed chapters to several (forthcoming) edited books, including Women's Issues in Europe, Translation and/as Ethnographic Practice, and Barren States: The Population Implosion in Europe. She is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Table of Contents
1. Population Politics, Population Struggles. 2. Family Tree, Revolutionary Roots. 3. Field Work, Sweater Work. 4. Displaying Class, Consuming Distinction. 5. Labors of Love, Loves Labors Lost. 6. Gendered Myths, Gender Strife. 7. Demographic Alarms, Racial Reverberations. 8. Conclusion: Globalizing Policy, Policing Populations.
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