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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter presents an overview of this book, which concerns fertility and family planning in four Tibetan societies: (1) Kyirong, formerly a district in Tibet (1940-1958); (2) Sama, an ethnically Tibetan village in the highlands of Nepal's Nubri Valley (1990s to present); (3) Tibetan exiles living in India and Nepal (1959 to present); and (4) the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) of China (1950s to present). Ideally, the analysis of a fertility transition involves the longitudinal study of a carefully delineated population to document the interrelations between social, economic, political, and demographic variables. Using the dual lenses of anthropology and demography, the book draws attention to how demographic outcomes are shaped by, and in turn shape everything from household-level economic strategies to political and religious ideologies. More importantly, the inter-disciplinary, comparative approach provides an opportunity to ask questions that link the study of past, present, and future Tibetan societies.

Keywords: anthropology; demography; family planning; fertility; Tibetan societies



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