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Population, Reproduction and Fertility in Melanesia
Volume 8

Fertility, Reproduction and Sexuality: Social and Cultural Perspectives

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Population, Reproduction and Fertility in Melanesia

Edited by Stanley J. Ulijaszek

256 pages, 20 ills, index

ISBN  978-1-57181-644-3 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (December 2005)

ISBN  978-1-84545-269-8 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Published (March 2008)

eISBN 978-0-85745-558-1 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook from these vendors Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®



“…provides a significant contribution to our knowledge of changes in fertility through its well-described historical and demographic sections, which in anthropological studies of reproduction are usually missing or lacking in depth… [The volume] successfully display[s] the richness of fertility concepts, practices and solutions in the Melanesian area and their relevance for unmasking some of the historical and contemporary myths on kinship demographic changes.” • Bijdragen. Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia and Oceania


Human biological fertility was considered a important issue to anthropologists and colonial administrators in the first part of the 20th century, as a dramatic decline in population was observed in many regions. However, the total demise of Melanesian populations predicted by some never happened; on the contrary, a rapid population increase took place for the second part of the 20th century. This volume explores relationships between human fertility and reproduction, subsistence systems, the symbolic use of ideas of fertility and reproduction in linking landscape to individuals and populations, in Melanesian societies, past and present. It thus offers an important contribution to our understanding of the implications of social and economic change for reproduction and fertility in the broadest sense.

Stanley Ulijaszek is a Professor of Human Ecology at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford. He co-authored Nutritional Anthropology (1993) and wrote Human Energetics in Biological Anthropology (1995), and is editor of the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Human Growth and Development (1998). He is co-editor of Homo. Journal of Human Comparative Biology and book review editor of the Journal of Biosocial Science.

Subject: Medical Anthropology Gender Studies and Sexuality
Area: Asia-Pacific


List of Figures and Tables
List of Contributors

Introduction: Population Change, Social Reproduction and Local Understandings of Fertility in Melanesia
Stanley J. Ulijaszek

Chapter 1. Fertility and the Depopulation of Melanesia: Childlessness, Abortion and Introduced Disease in Simbo and Ontong Java, Solomon Islands
Tim Bayliss-Smith

Chapter 2. The Impacts of Colonialism on Health and Fertility: Western New Britain 1884–1940
C. Gosden

Chapter 3. Purari Population Decline and Resurgence across the Twentieth Century
Stanley J. Ulijaszek

Chapter 4. Migration and Fertility of a Small Island Population in Manus: a Long-term Analysis of its Sedentes and Migrants
Yuji Ataka and Ryutaro Ohtsuka

Chapter 5. Fertility and Social Reproduction in the Strickland-Bosavi Region
Monica Minnegal and Peter D. Dwyer

Chapter 6. ‘Emptiness’ and Complementarity in Suau Reproductive Strategies
Melissa Demian

Chapter 7. Cognitive Aspects of Fertility and Reproduction in Lak, New Ireland
Sean Kingston

Chapter 8. History Embodied: Authenticating the Past in the New Guinea Highlands
Michael O’Hanlon

Chapter 9. Variations on a Theme: Fertility, Sexuality and Masculinity in Highland New Guinea
Pascale Bonnemère

Chapter 10. Fertility among the Anga of Papua New Guinea: a Conspicuous Absence
Pierre Lemonnier


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