Human Fertility and Population Problems: Proceedings of the Seminar Sponsored by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

By Roy O. Greep; American Ethnological Society et al. | Go to book overview
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SOCIO-CULTURAL ASPECTS OF POPULATION GROWTH

CORA A. DU BOIS

Zemurray-Stone-Radcliffe Professor of Anthropology, Harvard University.

I HAVE BEEN steadily misrepresented. It began last January when Dr. Greep persuaded me against my better judgment to undertake this task. I assured Dr. Greep at the time that I know nothing about population growth. That was last January and I'm afraid the situation hasn't changed. Also, I am discovering that there are both rewards and hazards in being the last speaker on the program. Out of my ignorance I prepared an argument which I shall develop in a moment but during these sessions I have been greatly gratified to find some of the arguments that I developed in vacuo being sustained by my distinguished predecessors on this program. That is a consolation to me but on the other hand much that I may say at this late point will seem repetitious.

I am engaged in what may seem a presumptuous line of reasoning that leads to a possible strategy of population control. You understand, of course, that this is purely an armchair enterprise to which I shall be happy to have your more practical and informed reactions.

Let us begin, not with one cliché but two: "the population explosion" and "the revolution of rising expectations."

-251-

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