Population in Literature

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Abstract

The treatment of population issues in modern fiction is examined under three headings: fear of population decline, fear of population excess, and fear of population professionals. Writings on population decline cover both the depopulation caused by too-low fertility and science-fictional scenarios of natural or human-made demographic catastrophes. Population excess is chiefly portrayed through ecological dystopias, but includes also depictions of unchecked immigration from poor to rich countries. Population professionals as fictional protagonists range from villainous biomedical and social engineers to feckless family planning workers.

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