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Demographic Transition: An Asian Perspective

By Rajiv Balakrishnan

The volume stitches together a vast canvas that begins with historical demography and moves on to examine ethnographic perspectives, gender, family health and the ageing population of Asia. Tim Dyson and Ravindran Gopinath focus on historical demography. While Dyson’s study has a broad sweep covering South and South- East Asia, Gopinath deals with a specific part of the sub-continent, namely, Madras Presidency. K.C. Zachariah and S. Irudaya Rajan bring to discussion contemporary demographic trajectories of two of India's low fertility states―Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Mahendra K. Premi presents a comprehensive profiling of demographic indicators at the sub-continental and regional levels for a more than hundred year period. Six studies by eminent scholars look at national data set on demographic ageing for two Asian giants―India and China.The volume also highlights gender, family planning and reproductive health issues, and dwells on the tragic consequences for the girl child when family size norms go down even as son preference persists. A compelling presentation of demographic transition in Asia that brings to fore contemporary research in this area.

Rajiv Balakrishnan, a demographer and development specialist, holds a Ph.D. in Population Studies and a Masters in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Madras. Dr. Balakrishnan served on the faculty of Council for Social Development (CSD), New Delhi, for fifteen years, during which time he both engaged in research and developed and taught curricula on demography and methodology. He has published extensively in the Indian Social Science Review, Sociological Bulletin, Economic & Political Weekly, Review of Development & Change, Social Change and Social Action, and has co-authored three books on social development issues. He has also served as the journal’s Joint Editor.He can be contacted at rajiv.balak@gmail.com and his website.

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