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Dr. Philip Kreager

Philip Kreager is a historian of population thought and analysis, and an anthropological demographer specializing in Indonesia. He is Senior Research Fellow in Human Sciences, Somerville College; Director, Fertility and Reproduction Studies Group (FRSG); Lecturer and Tutor in Population at the Institute of Human Sciences; and Research Associate in the Department of Sociology, Oxford University. He is currently co-investigator in the research project ‘Care Networks in Later Life: A Comparative Study of Indonesia, 2020-2023’, under the Economic and Social Research Council, Southampton University. He is also co-investigator in the research project 'Understanding Social, Economic and Health Vulnerabilities in Indonesia 2017-2023' under Australian Research Council Discovery Grant DP170101044. This project continues two longitudinal studies under his direction: the study of malaria treatment-seeking behaviour in Alor, in the Eastern Archipelago of Indonesia (2013-2015) (funded by the Wellcome Trust - ISSF grant scheme (Oxford University)); and Ageing in Indonesia, a multi-site study of ageing in three Indonesian communities 1999-2007, supported by the Wellcome Trust.  This work has led to continuing collaboration with the University of Indonesia, where he is Honorary Professor. Dr Kreager has a primary interest in the history of population thought, particularly as a common ground of theory and analysis linking the biological and social sciences, and in this connection was senior editor, Population in the Human Sciences (Oxford University Press, 2015). His Directorship of FRSG has involved him in planning courses for the Medical School on cross-cultural issues of reproductive health and IVF, and of workshops on AIDS, ecological and social implications of genomics, the diversity of fertility declines, and related health topics. 


Contact Information:


Tel: +44 1865 612376



Institute of Human Sciences

58a Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 6QS


Research Interests

Anthropological Demography: Comparative demographic systems with particular reference to the construction of collective identity, family and kin systems, age and social structure. Development of combined qualitative and quantitative methodologies.

Population Ageing: Understanding the ageing process as part of adaptive mechanisms characteristic of local cultures and social structures. Comparative analysis of Asian and European family systems, with particular reference to Indonesia: networks, socio-economic strata, the role of Islam and civil society, childlessness, migration, gender.

History of Population Theory and Analysis: The formation of population concepts, models and measures before 1800 in light of contemporaneous political, social and scientific change. Transformation of early modern population thinking in the 19th and early 20th century under the rise of the nation-state. Implications of Darwinian population thinking for demography and the Human Sciences.


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