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Title: Landscapes of fertility in rural South Africa : intergenerational understandings, migration and HIV/AIDS
Author: Plowright, Alexandra S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5348 2349
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis is based on a mixed methods study with a sequential exploratory design, and is about the fertility preferences of women living in rural South Africa. The quantitative secondary analysis utilises the South African Demographic and Health Surveys of 1998 and 2003, and the qualitative ethnographic fieldwork was carried out in a rural area of KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa, in 2011 and 2012. The fieldwork included ethnographic field notes and maps generated through participatory mapping exercises, 63 semi-structured interviews with women of different generations and 6 key informant interviews. The thesis examines women’s landscapes of fertility and focuses on intergenerational understandings of fertility preferences, migration and the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The thesis identified that women’s landscapes of fertility are subject to change over time and differ between women of different generations. Older women’s landscapes of fertility are influenced by understandings of the importance of continuity of family whilst those of younger women are synonymous with their experiences of increasing autonomy and agency, caused by escalating modernity. For younger women, migration was a key issue within their landscapes of fertility and their migration later affected their mothers who became migratory followers of their daughters. This is a reversal of typical paradigms of migration, as it identifies that women from different generations can be migratory followers or leaders. It was found that HIV influenced women’s landscapes of fertility due in part to the South African, changing socio-political responses to the disease. The thesis contributes to geographical and anthropological understandings about change in women’s fertility preferences over time in the context of societal change. The thesis also identifies the value of ethnographically informed understandings of fertility preferences as a key indicator of demographic change and population shifts.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HQ The family. Marriage. Woman ; RA Public aspects of medicine