Fertility and Family Policy: An Intersectional Perspective

Wendy Sigle-Rushton, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

In this paper, I argue that demographic research would benefit from a more conscious consideration of a wider range of theoretical perspectives. To illustrate what I mean, I focus primarily on one (broad and flexible) critical analytic concept – intersectionality – and one key area of inquiry: the relationship between family policy and fertility. The analysis demonstrates how intersectionality, when used as a standard against which we can interrogate our methodology, can be used to guide a critical assessment of the analytic strategies we employ and the relevance of the evidence we produce. My main point is not that everyone should adopt and apply the particular conceptual tool that I utilize here, but rather that demography would benefit from the adoption of a wider range of tools, concepts and perspectives, which, in one way or another, invite (more) critical reflection.

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Presented in Session 187: Family Policy and Fertility