Basu, K.M., (1997) ‘The ‘politicization’ of fertility to achieve non demographic objectives’, PS 5, 1, pp. 5-18

A description of the role of fertility data as a political tool and how demographic studies in general can be co-opted for a particular social agenda.

Available online:


Gates, G. (2011). LGBT Identity: A Demographer’s Perspective. Loy. LAL Rev., 45, p.693.

A study on the difficulties inherent to the categorisation of sexual and gender identity necessary for demographic measurement. It also notes how a focus on measurement can distract from important goals of gaining a demographic understanding the experiences of the LGBT community.

Available online:

Greenhalgh, S. and Li, J. (1995). Engendering reproductive policy and practice in peasant China: for a feminist demography of reproduction. Signs, pp.601-641.

A comment on the flaws in demographic understanding caused by the late (and incomplete) integration of feminism into the subject. This is then applied to the demography of reproduction and used to explain how demography’s ignorance of the non-quantitative political and cultural dynamics that shape gender inequality have led to an incomplete understanding of the gender imbalance in births in rural China.

Available online:


situating fertility cover Greenhalgh, S. (1995). Situating fertility. 1st ed. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.

A criticism of demography’s historic neglect of the cultural social and political forces that affect reproductive behaviour and a suggestion of how these factors along with anthropological approaches and theories can be integrated with demography to better explain the worldwide pattern of falling birth rates.


 Greenhalgh, S. (2001). Fresh winds in Beijing: Chinese feminists speak out on the one-child policy and women’s lives. Signs, pp.847- 886.

An analysis of how limited research and reluctant investigation along with (and in part caused by) political influence from both sides has resulted in a skewed view of the Chinese population’s response to the one child policy that fails to recognise the motives and efforts of individual women.

Available online:


Greenhalgh, S. (2012). Weighty subjects: The biopolitics of the US war on fat. American Ethnologist, 39(3), pp.471- 487.

An analysis of the political motivations of the ‘war on fat’ and its influence upon the bodies, selves and lives of the young people who are targeted by it. She criticises both the methods and motivations of this movement, claiming that it creates problems of physically and psychologically unhealthy behaviour.

Available online:


Presser, H.B. (1997) ‘Demography, Feminism, and the Science-Policy Nexus’ Population and Development Review, Vol. 23, No. 2, pp. 295-331

Focuses on the inadequate amount of demographic research into gender issues and how this impacts upon Demography’s relevance and usefulness to policy-makers. It suggests that effective social policy measures cannot be created without detailed and relevant body of research related to gender issues.

Available online:


What is your race coverPrewitt, K. (2013) ‘What Is Your Race? The Census and Our Flawed Efforts to Classify Americans’ Princeton University Press

Describes the roots of racial classification in 18th century racial perceptions. It explains how this has affected the classification of race in censuses from then on and the impact of this bias on our general demographic understanding as well as policy making.


Watkins, S.K. (1993) ‘If All We Knew About Women was What We Read in Demography, What Would We Know?’ Demography, Vol. 30, No. 4, pp. 551-557

Addresses the disproportionate focus on men in demographic literature and how that skews the interpretation of ‘humanity’ that we get from it. One of the rare feminist approaches to demographic analysis.

Available online:

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