PamelaStone and MegLovejoyOpting Back In: What Really Happens When Mothers Go Back to WorkUniversity of California Press, 2021, 264 p., $29.95

Ann K. Blanc
2021 Population and Development Review  
Research in population and development in the past decade has increasingly centered on examining the relationship between health and demographic vital eventsfertility, mortality, nuptiality, and migration. Anthropological Demography of Health is a landmark volume that gives a new currency to this debate. First, the editors' careful and detailed Introduction and Afterword urge the reader to consider more seriously the local variations and heterogeneities in demographic and health behaviour. The
more » ... uestions of what subpopulations compose the demographic and health patterns leading to heterogeneities on the subnational level are put at center stage in the volume. Second, each of the 19 context-specific chapters offer a wealth of perspectives and methodologies to examine these subnational variations in demographic and health behaviors, as well as their governance across contexts in the global North and global South. Third, we learn from this edited collection as much about variations in health vulnerabilities and inequalities between and within subpopulations as we do about individual and community resilience and risk mitigation strategies. These are all crucial, yet challenging aspects developed by this edited collection, which make it the first contribution of its scope and ambition. In this review, I take the three aforementioned aspects as my primary focal points as I guide the readers through the volume's main highlights. Anthropological Demography of Health stands in line with the classical edited collections that have laid out this field since the 1990s. 1 The Introduction surveys this rich history. Read alongside the Afterword, the two review chapters illustrate why the disciplines of demography-with its focus on vital events-and anthropologywith its focus on rites of passage-did not recognize their common interest in the study of biological and social facts of life until the 1980s. As the Introduction to this collection vividly shows, the dominance of modernization theory in the post-war decades created more synergies between demography and sociology/economics. Nonetheless, the critique of demographic models that undermine variations promoted more careful examination of demographic behaviors on a local scale. Inspired by 1960s and 1970s studies in historical demography, anthropological demography emerged when the shift in the study of reproductive behaviors took place. Separate from the postmodern turn in social sciences, this shift started with the study of reproductive behaviors beyond a mere focus on fertility limitation, and accounting for a wider set of health-seeking behaviors and structural factors that shaped these behaviors on a local level. As this volume illustrates, anthropological demography has indeed urged an inquiry into a systematic study of subnational variations in demographic behaviors through innovative bottom-up qualitative and qualitative approaches. Anthropological Demography of Health builds on this important legacy by taking it a major step forward. The collection presents a convincing case for why
doi:10.1111/padr.12424 fatcat:ld52cdwv5beerautlz5x5jsg3a