October 29, 2007

fewer children?

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:09 pm by changisme

someone sent me an article about the declining fertility level in some parts of the world from an anthropological standpoint. The author argues that we are going through a transition where patriarchy would shift back because more people with such beliefs are having more children. I’m oversimplifying it, but it’s something of the sort.

it’s an interesting article, but there are a few things about this argument that worth examining really. One is that the global distribution of demographics is rather complicated at this point. I think at this point, I still can’t think about something so complicated. Let me think about it in terms of a single country first. it’s quite a lot already. The two kinds of countries I’m familiar with would be Canada/US and China.

The article says that the reason Bush received so much votes is in part the population who has his kind of mentality is increasing. I think… that could well be true, but if you think Bush is not very wise, then you could also call this the truth is on the side of few, it’s not exactly new right? I mean throughout history, many things are like that. It really depends on what you think democracy means. I don’t really know much about politics and what most people think. At this point, democracy to me is about serving the will of the mass. it’s not always the truest I don’t think. The author of course didn’t make a judgement of whether this is a good or bad situation. I just think that this is something we need to consider in the ideal of democracy not so much how our fertility is shifting.

Related to this point I just said, it’s also worth considering whether or not what we call as more advanced mode of human existence is necessarily where history should take its course. North Americans believe in female professionalism and family structures where children don’t need to support their parents. We are people of the age, it is very difficult to see how these could ever be wrong, but there could well be somethings that we ought not to insist upon too stubbornly. Another point is that whether or not history or nature will listen to us, it might mind you.

Another thing about North America and other parts of the world too is that beliefs between generations might not be as hereditory as the author believes. It’s not just that the educational system is public, but also the massive amount of information that is available to the young. Familial influence might not be as strong. It could be argued though that families with more children might have more influence within the family because interactions with family members is more prominent, although this also go the other way, children might rebel more to seek outside attention.

What worth special consideration is the case of a strong communal structure of large families. If all families in a large community have many children, the children might not be as exposed to smaller family cultures as those large families who live among small families. This actually leads to something I still don’t really understand, religious fundamentalism. It is something I don’t really know what will come out of. When you look at the situations around the world, the ones that really take over the values in a populational level are those who are expanded by the state. Whereas groups like the Mormans… as far as I know didn’t quite. In the contrary, liberal movements within the morman religion probably should be looked into.

In countries like China, the story is very different. In China, people still do want to have children, and I think it is largely driven by social norm. If people’s neighbours are having 2 kids, they will too. However, people know that having 4 or 5 kids is too much for financial reasons. it is a hard time for the government as it is hard to sustain economic growth without a fast growing population as well…

Aye.. in a way, when people say the economy will go down if our population drops, just like how Canada is not as rich as the US, maybe it’s just natural for these rich countries to slow down a bit.

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