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Tibetan Transitions

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Chapter Summary

The first objective of this chapter is to outline general principles of population regulation in pre-transitional Tibetan societies by reviewing the ways that fertility was moderated prior to the availability of modern contraception. That discussion forms the backdrop to the second objective of the chapter: to connect fertility trends from 1959 to the turn of the millennium with specific social, economic, and political transformations. Afterwards, the chapter draws upon several theoretical perspectives to explain why the fertility transitions in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and among the exiles - despite being nearly identical in both timing and magnitude - were actually very distinct phenomena that were triggered by different causal mechanisms. The overall goal of the chapter is to situate fertility in both pre-transitional and transitional Tibetan societies by showing "how it makes sense given the sociocultural and political economic context in which it is embedded".

Keywords: fertility transitions; modern contraception; population regulation; Tibetan societies



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