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Family Planning as Artefact: India’s Small Family Norm and its' Afterlife.

13 June 2023
12.30pm – 2.00pm AEST
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As of 2023, India has become the country with the largest population in the world. The history of this statistic is not merely an outcome of state-driven demographic intervention. I look at how the idea of the small family norm was consonant with the subcontinental desire to modernise and ‘catch up’ with the world. It also involved building a semiotic world that used the notional small family size as the cornerstone of a country’s aspirations to outgrow its colonial pasts and present.


Aprajita Sarcar is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Laureate Centre for History and Population, University of New South Wales. She has previously held a postdoctoral position in the Centre de Sciences Humaines, New Delhi. She works on everyday governance of reproductive health and population control programme in postcolonial India. Her work is on the intersection of health, gender and urban histories of South Asia. She earned her PhD from the Department of History, Queen’s University, Canada. She currently shuttles between Delhi and Sydney.

Her work is interdisciplinary and requires a combination of watching films (if not co-creating them), reading archival dust, talking to people, and triangulating how the three mount a multi-layered social reality.