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The Global Spread of Fertility DeclinePopulation, Fear, and Uncertainty$
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Jay Winter and Michael Teitelbaum

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300139068

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300139068.001.0001

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European Population

European Population

Interpretations and Anxieties

(p.40) Two European Population
The Global Spread of Fertility Decline

Jay Winter

Michael Teitelbaum

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses the theory of Ulrich Beck, which is related to what he has termed the “risk society.” Beck rejects both the Marxist model that capitalism is doomed to collapse and ideas associated with Max Weber about the onward relentless advance of the “iron cage” of the bureaucratic state and technology-driven production. In their place, Beck proposes a different, more open-ended set of ideas about the setting in which fertility decline to unprecedented low levels has occurred. What he offers is a sociological framework in which to set the Second Demographic Transition, while departing from some of the claims made by others about that transition. Beck has pioneered an approach to the “risk society” as a way to go beyond outmoded ideas about social development in advanced industrial countries.

Keywords:   risk society, Ulrich Beck, Marxist model, Max Weber, bureaucratic state, technology-driven production, sociological framework, Second Demographic Transition

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