Family-building Strategies in Urban India: Converging Demographic Trends in Two Culturally Distinct Communities

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
S. Sudha, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: This article examines desired family size and sex composition, the extent of son preference, the underlying motivations for the preference, and the knowledge and use of the new reproductive technologies to achieve these preferences in two culturally distinct but economically similar immigrant communities in New Delhi, India. The two groups – one group from Punjab, north India, and the other from Kerala, south India – are considered in the literature to be two extremes in the socio-cultural spectrum, particularly in terms of kinship organizations, gender relations, women's decision-making power, and levels of women's autonomy. The results of the study suggest that shared urban experience, acceptance of a small family norm, and easy accessibility of new reproductive technologies and abortion services have led to similarities in desired family size, preference for sons, and means taken to realize their preference in the two communities. The article concludes with a discussion of the intricate and intersecting views of parents on family size, son preference and daughter neglect, and the many ways of regulating family size and sex composition in urban India, and draws parallel with similar research findings in India and elsewhere in Asia.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2009
family size, sex composition, son preference, urbanization, India

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