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The Decline of Fertility: Innovation or Adjustment Process

Gosta Carlsson
Population Studies
Vol. 20, No. 2 (Nov., 1966), pp. 149-174
DOI: 10.2307/2172980
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2172980
Page Count: 26
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The Decline of Fertility: Innovation or Adjustment Process
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Abstract

In Western society the process of fertility decline is often regarded as an innovation process. The assumptions behind this approach seem rather questionable, and the diffusion lags or gradients of limited importance. Both Swedish and other European data are used as illustrations. It is suggested that the decline be treated within the wider sociological perspective of a time-consuming adjustment or change process, not necessarily starting from a position of completely uncontrolled fertility within marriage. The situation in to-day's high fertility populations is briefly discussed against this background.

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