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Prof Sara Randall
Appointment
  • Professor of Anthropology
  • Dept of Anthropology
  • Faculty of S&HS
Biography

After an undergraduate degree in Anthropology my PhD in Demography at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine focused on the demographic dynamics of rural Malian populations with different production systems. I integrated anthropological approaches to both data collection and interpretation in order to understand the key factors influencing the diversity of demographic outcomes in these isolated rural populations. Such a mixed methods approach to understanding demographic issues has been a major dimension of most of my subsequent research.

My early research interests in the demography of nomadic pastoralists were oriented around the dynamics of Tuareg populations in Mali from 1981-2001 – both before and after they were involved in a forced migration and sedentarisation as a result of conflict. I have considerable experience of field data collection (both quantitative and qualitative) in Mali, Senegal and Burkina Faso under a range of conditions: illiterate pastoral nomads, large agricultural villages, poor and more wealthy areas in small towns and capital cities and I have also undertaken more limited research in East Africa, Mongolia and have analysed Palestinian demographic data. I focus on issues such as health behaviour, marital and reproductive decision making, the impact of migration on those left behind as well as trying to understand the determinants of different patterns of demographic dynamics in poor, rural African populations and the interplay between development and demography. My research is currently orientated around unpacking the mismatch between the concepts used in survey data collection and respondents’ own ideas about what is important and their daily realities.

Research Summary


Academic Background
1984 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Demography London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
1980 MSc Master of Science – Demography and Health London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
1978 BA Bachelor of Arts – Anthropology University of Durham
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