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The Biodemography of Subsistence Farming
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Expected online publication date: April 2020
  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online ISBN: 9781139519700
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Book description

Viewing the subsistence farm as primarily a 'demographic enterprise' to create and support a family, this book offers an integrated view of the demography and ecology of preindustrial farming. Taking an interdisciplinary perspective, it examines how traditional farming practices interact with demographic processes such as childbearing, death, and family formation. It includes topics such as household nutrition, physiological work capacity, health and resistance to infectious diseases, as well as reproductive performance and mortality. The book argues that the farming household is the most informative scale at which to study the biodemography and physiological ecology of preindustrial, non-commercial agriculture. It offers a balanced appraisal of the farming system, considering its strengths and limitations, as well as the implications of viewing it as a 'demographic enterprise' rather than an economic one. A valuable resource for graduate students and researchers in biological and physical anthropology, cultural anthropology, natural resource management, agriculture and ecology.


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