Abstract/Details

Agency and social networks: Family planning and AIDS in rural Malawi


2006 2006

Other formats: Order a copy

Abstract (summary)

The general decline of fertility in the Western world is still not completely understood. The use of social networks to explain the demographic transition has provided new insights on the question. Interpersonal relations can explain the diffusion of attitudes and behaviors throughout populations. This approach however raises the issue of agency and networks: where do networks come from, and how do they evolve in time?

This dissertation examines the theory of social networks in relation to the demographic transition. It proposes the view that networks are significantly driven by the agency of Egos; it proposes to a lesser extent that biology and evolutionary traits affect the formation and evolution of social networks.

Using data from the Malawi Diffusion and Ideational Change Project, it shows that the evolution of networks over time is driven in some part by the actions and desires of the Ego. Some patterns of evolution also conform to the predictions of the evolutionary hypothesis, even if they cannot be considered strong enough to confirm it.

This dissertation therefore concludes that social networks do play an important role in the transition from high to low fertility, but that the diffusion of attitudes and behaviors is not a passive process. To the contrary, agents will construct networks and use them to achieve certain fertility goals. Ultimately, public policies implemented to affect fertility through diffusion should account for, and make use of, these patterns of network evolution.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Demographics
Classification
0938: Demographics
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences; AIDS; Agency; Family planning; Malawi; Social networks
Title
Agency and social networks: Family planning and AIDS in rural Malawi
Author
Vachon, Pierre Jean
Number of pages
172
Publication year
2006
Degree date
2006
School code
0028
Source
DAI-A 67/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780542826832
Advisor
Johnson-Hanks, Jennifer
University/institution
University of California, Berkeley
University location
United States -- California
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3228516
ProQuest document ID
305366164
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/305366164
Access the complete full text

You can get the full text of this document if it is part of your institution's ProQuest subscription.

Try one of the following:

  • Connect to ProQuest through your library network and search for the document from there.
  • Request the document from your library.
  • Go to the ProQuest login page and enter a ProQuest or My Research username / password.