The Political Economy of Fertility in the British West Indies 1891-1921

By D. A. V. Brown | Go to book overview

Chapter Four

Migration and Fertility: The Impact
of the Internal Political Economy

Introduction

The central theoretical thrust of the study has found expression in the argument that population processes are best explained with reference to the societal milieu within which they occur. In the previous chapter the wider global setting of the societal context was introduced as a background to the demographic analysis of fertility and mortality. In this chapter the focus is shifted to the relationship between the demographic variables of fertility and migration. This analysis is conducted within the context of the internal productive arrangements of Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago.

The study posits that, within the general framework of techno-economic changes at the level of the global economy, the peculiarities of history and geography gave rise to structural variations that found expression in the demography of the territories. In both societies export agriculture was of critical importance. In the case of Grenada, the decline in sugar was matched by the emergence of cocoa as an alternative export staple. The patterns of land tenure and the cultural practices that attended the production of this crop held profound implications for the nature of the socioeconomic structure that emerged in this territory. This, in turn, was to influence the migration and fertility processes that were to occur there. Failure to pay sufficient attention to the wider social context within which

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