Mortality, Fertility, and Social Organization

Stephen J. Kunitz

in Disease Change and the Role of Medicine: The Navajo Experience

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 1983 | ISBN: 9780520049260
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520909649 | DOI:
Mortality, Fertility, and Social Organization

Show Summary Details


This chapter presents comparative data on contemporary mortality rates and patterns among several different American Indian tribes, including the Navajos. It is noted that tribes with higher mortality rates would also have higher fertility rates. Fertility may be linked in some complex way both to factors more directly dependent upon contemporary economic and educational conditions. Infant mortality is more likely to be correlated to socioeconomic, educational, and medical-care variables. The chapter then indicates that fertility may be dependent upon factors related both to traditional forms of social organization—such as personality and family structure, and ability to adjust to the reservation system—as well as to factors more directly related to socioeconomic status, particularly those factors that influence infant mortality.

Keywords: mortality; fertility; Navajos; personality; family structure; reservation system; socioeconomic status; infant

Chapter.  5814 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.