Current Institutional Affiliation
Professor & Associate Dean of Social Sciences, Sociology and Demography, University of California / Berkeley

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 1997
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, Northwestern University
An Uncertain Honor: Schooling and Family Formation in Catholic Cameroon

Contemporary models of social change in the developing world posit that education induces women to bear fewer children. However, the well-established inverse correlation between education and fertility may not indicate a causal link. I argue that schooling represents a way­station along a life-historical trajectory toward urban elite status. Processes of selection into and out of schooling may constitute a significant factor in explaining the education-fertility relationship. To test this hypothesis, I propose to study the life historical trajectories of Catholic-educated Beti women in southern Cameroon, locating both education and childbearing within the broader process of ascension into the urban elite. Recent research in Southern Africa constitutes an instructive comparison. This project will incorporate anthropological theories of the life cycle and social reproduction with demographic analyses of the relationship between education and fertility.