Simon Szreter

Future studies of fertility decline: the personal is political

Abstract: Two major innovations have gathered pace during the last two decades. Firstly, rising exploitation of individual-level census and population register data; secondly, increasing generation of oral history and interview evidence. Both provide high observational resolution to study reproductive change at the individual level. However, we must take care to combine this with a complementary effort to study the collective aspects, which may require different sources and methods: the social, cultural, ideological, economic, institutional and governmental contexts which inform individuals’ perceptions and behaviour. The link between the two is elegantly stated in the famous feminist aphorism, the personal is political.