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Panel 7. Population Issues in Southeast Asia

Chair: Dewi Ismajani Puradiredja (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

Southeast Asia is experiencing a range of diverse and urgent population issues, ranging from some of the fastest growing HIV/AIDS epidemics to rapid fertility decline and population ageing, from increased urbanisation to high levels of internal and international migration. Underlying these are complex social, cultural, economic and political processes. This panel invites submissions based on substantive research dealing with contemporary population trends and differentials in Southeast Asian settings, drawing on insights from a number of relevant disciplinary perspectives, including demography (population studies), anthropology, sociology, economics, human geography, epidemiology and history. The panel welcomes all methodological approaches: quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods.

Paper 1: Kin influences on fertility in Thailand: Effects and mechanisms

Kristen Snopkowski (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

It has been suggested that human mothers are cooperative breeders, as they need help from others to successfully raise offspring. Studies working under this framework have found correlations between the presence of kin and both child survival and female fertility rates. This study seeks to understand the proximate mechanisms by which kin influence fertility using data from the 1987 Thailand Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), a nationally representative sample of 6,775 women. Kin influence is measured by the length of time couples live with the husband’s or wife’s parents after marriage. Event history analysis, multilevel modeling and structural equation modeling are used to investigate both fertility outcomes and potential pathways through which postnuptial residence may influence fertility outcomes, including employment status, maternal and child outcomes, contraceptive use, breastfeeding duration, and age at marriage. We show that living virilocally (with husband’s kin after marriage) increases total fertility by shortening time from marriage to first birth, and increasing the likelihood of progression to each subsequent birth. These effects are mediated through correlations between virilocal residence and earlier age at marriage as well as delayed initiation of contraceptive use. We find no influence of husband’s kin on maternal or child outcomes. Living uxorilocally (with wife’s kin after marriage) also reduces age at marriage, shortens time from marriage to first birth and (marginally) improves child survivorship, but has no effect on other child and maternal outcomes or progression to subsequent births and results in a similar number of living children as women living neolocally

Paper 2: Care dependence in old age: preferences, practices and implications in two Indonesian communities

Elisabeth Schroeder-Butterfill & Tengku Syawila Fithry (University of Southampton)

The provision of physical care is a sensitive matter in all cultures and is circumscribed by moral injunctions and personal preferences. Research on Western cultures has shown care networks to be narrow subsets of people’s wider networks and revealed dependence to be deeply undermining of full personhood. In nonWestern societies these issues have received little attention, although it is sometimes assumed that care provision and dependence are much less problematic. This paper uses longitudinal ethnographic data from two ethnic groups in rural Indonesia to compare care preferences and practices in old age and to examine the implications of care dependence. The groups manifest varying degrees of daughter preference in care and differ in the extent to which notions of shame and avoidance prohibit cross-gender intimate care and care by ‘non-blood’ relatives. Demographic and social constraints often necessitate compromises in actual care arrangements (e.g. dependence on in-laws, neighbours or paid carers), not all of which are compatible with quality care and a valued identity. We argue that by probing the norms and practices surrounding care provision in different socio-cultural settings it becomes possible to arrive at a deeper understanding of kinship, personhood and sociality. These insights are not only of sociological interest but have implications for people’s vulnerability to poor quality care in old age.

Paper 3: Examining population change in post-disaster Aceh, Indonesia

Saiful Mahdi (Syiah Kuala University)

Natural disasters can impact societies in various different ways. One such example is population movement and change. Previous research has examined how natural disasters influence population. In general, population in an affected area decreases after a disaster due to rapid mortality and out-migration. Paul (2005), however, argued that not all affected communities out-migrate permanently after a disaster when there is a “constant flow of disaster aid and its proper distribution by the government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs)”. Therefore, such post-disaster situation is usually followed by an immediate but temporary increase in population due to inflow of relief works, workers, early returnees, and internally displaced persons. This is especially true for disaster-affected urban areas where most relief organizations tend to be centered, causing “beneficiaries follow aid organization” problems. In this study I will examine population structural changes in Aceh based on population census data and indicators and contrast them in term of gender, age group, and pre- and post Indian Ocean Tsunami (2000, 2005) and afterwards (2010). I will mainly use population pyramid comparisons. Some statistical comparison tests will be used to examine the data. I will also show urban vs. rural population structural change, which underlines societal changes in different communities in Aceh. A special focus will be given to urban and peri-urban areas of the City of Banda Aceh in which population mobility is very fluid during post-tsunami reconstruction. This city was the capital of Aceh Province, Indonesia, and was the major hub for both relief and reconstructions efforts after the tsunami. But it was also the “host” for migration from rural areas due to pro-longed conflict and urbanization.

Paper 4: Transactional Sex Risk across a Typology of Rural and Urban Female Sex Workers in Indonesia: A Mixed Methods Study

Dewi Ismajani Puradiredja (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

Context-specific typologies of female sex workers (FSWs) are essential for the design of HIV intervention programming. This study develops a novel FSW typology for the analysis of transactional sex risk in rural and urban settings in Indonesia. Mixed methods include a survey of rural and urban FSWs (n=310), in-depth interviews (n=11), key informant interviews (n=5) and ethnographic assessments. Thematic analysis categorises FSWs into 5 distinct groups based on geographical location of their sex work settings, place of solicitation, and whether sex work is their primary occupation. Multiple regression analysis shows that the likelihood of consistent condom use was higher among urban venue-based FSWs for whom sex work is not the only source of income than for any of the other rural and urban FSW groups. This effect was explained by the significantly lower likelihood of consistent condom use by rural venue-based FSWs (adjusted OR: 0.34 95% CI 0.13-0.90, p=0.029). The FSW typology and differences in organisational features and social dynamics are more closely related to the risk of unprotected transactional sex, than levels of condom awareness and availability.