Why Race Suicide? Cultural Factors in U.S. Fertility Decline, 19031908 Academic Article uri icon


  • Study of a sample of 605 newspaper articles produced between 1903 and 1908 tracks Americans' explanations for fertility decline, demonstrating the perceived importance of economic and cosmic factors but arguing that these factors and others are best understood in the context of individual-level moral views. For contemporaries seeking to explain the trend toward smaller families, the most significant frames of analysis involved dichotomies concerning self and society, worldliness and transcendence, and near- and long-term sensibilities about time.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Interdisciplinary History

author list (cited authors)

  • MacNamara, T.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • MacNamara, Trent

publication date

  • January 2014