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Population Growth: Anthropological Implications
The relationship of agricultural development and population growth has long been debated by social scientists. In 1965 an economist, Ester Boserup, entered this debate with the proposal that population growth should be treated as the independent variable in technological and cultural change (The Conditions of Agricultural Growth: The Economics of Agrarian Change under Population Pressure [Chicago: Aldine]). This proposal was not entirely new, although Malthusian respect for the,limits imposed by the inelastic carrying capacity of resources and rigid technologies is still implicitly dominant in the literature. However, Boserup's thesis had not before been so comprehensively and logically worked out. In economics-the disciplinary context from which it arose-it has had a mixed reception, largely according to the ideological inclinations of the critics; and its implications for other disciplines, including anthropology, have been slow to percolate.
© 1972 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Spooner, B. (1972). Introduction. In B. Spooner (Ed.), Population Growth: Anthropological Implications (pp. xv-xxvii). Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.
Date Posted: 22 October 2016