The Second Demographic Transition Theory: A Review and Appraisal

The Second Demographic Transition Theory: A Review and Appraisal References to the second demographic transition (SDT) have increased dramatically in the past two decades. The SDT predicts unilinear change toward very low fertility and a diversity of union and family types. The primary driver of these changes is a powerful, inevitable, and irreversible shift in attitudes and norms in the direction of greater individual freedom and self-actualization. First, we describe the origin of this framework and its evolution over time. Second, we review the empirical fit of the framework to major changes in demographic and family behavior in the United States, the West, and beyond. As has been the case for other unilinear, developmental theories of demographic or family change, the SDT failed to predict many contemporary patterns of change and difference. Finally, we review previous critiques and identify fundamental weaknesses of this perspective, and we provide brief comparisons to selected alternative approaches. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annual Review of Sociology Annual Reviews

The Second Demographic Transition Theory: A Review and Appraisal

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Publisher
Annual Reviews
Copyright
Copyright 2017 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved
ISSN
0360-0572
eISSN
1545-2115
D.O.I.
10.1146/annurev-soc-060116-053442
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

References to the second demographic transition (SDT) have increased dramatically in the past two decades. The SDT predicts unilinear change toward very low fertility and a diversity of union and family types. The primary driver of these changes is a powerful, inevitable, and irreversible shift in attitudes and norms in the direction of greater individual freedom and self-actualization. First, we describe the origin of this framework and its evolution over time. Second, we review the empirical fit of the framework to major changes in demographic and family behavior in the United States, the West, and beyond. As has been the case for other unilinear, developmental theories of demographic or family change, the SDT failed to predict many contemporary patterns of change and difference. Finally, we review previous critiques and identify fundamental weaknesses of this perspective, and we provide brief comparisons to selected alternative approaches.

Journal

Annual Review of SociologyAnnual Reviews

Published: Jul 31, 2017

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