The Demographic Structure and Evolution of a Peasant System: The Guatemalan Population

The Demographic Structure and Evolution of a Peasant System: The Guatemalan Population

The Demographic Structure and Evolution of a Peasant System: The Guatemalan Population

The Demographic Structure and Evolution of a Peasant System: The Guatemalan Population

Excerpt

This research is the result of the author's experiences in the rural areas of Guatemala and Mexico. It began in 1962 among the Zinacanteco Maya when the author was a member of the Harvard-Chiapas Project. Significant portions of the years 1965-70 were spent with the Micatokla community development group in Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala. These years of research as well as active participation in community projects raised many questions about the population structures of peasantry.

After the introduction, the book has four main sections. In Part II the problems of the Guatemalan data base and its revision are discussed. This is a methodological section, and those not interested in the many details of verification and revision techniques may wish to omit these pages. In Part III the national population structure and its changes between 1950 and 1977 are surveyed. In Part IV village data are used to examine the population dynamics of phases I and II of the demographic transition. In Part V the problem of cultural bias in the national censuses of peasant systems such as Guatemala is analyzed.

The writer has many debts of gratitude to those who have helped over the years with this research. Professor Evon Vogt of Harvard University and Bishop Samuel Ruiz Garcia of Chiapas, Mexico, introduced the writer to the May a in his initial experience. The Catholic Diocese of Oklahoma supported the Micatokla project. The writer is deeply indebted to the various members of this unique and rollicksome group -- especially the late Ramon Carlin, Marcella Faudree, Bob Westerman, and, in particular, Tom Stafford and Elizabeth Nick. The Division of Sponsored Research of Florida Atlantic University and Professor William Sears of the Anthropology Department provided assistance in the intermediate stage. Grant 5 R01 HD09489 from the National Institute of Child Health and Development . . .

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