Marida C. Hollos Professor Emerita of Anthropology

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas

scholarly work

Remodeling concepts of the self: An Ijo example. (with P.E. Leis) Ethos, vol. 23(1):371-388. 2002.

The cultural construction of childhood: Changing concepts among the Pare of Northern Tanzania. Childhood 9(2):167-189.2002.

Becoming Nigerian in Ijo Society. Rutgers University Press. 1989.

Women's empowerment and fertility decline among the Pare of Northern Tanzania. (with Ulla Larsen) Social Science and Medicine,

Scandal in a Small Town: Understanding Modern Hungary Through the History of Three Families. New York: M.E. Sharpe

research overview

Professor Hollos studies the population of developing countries, especially fertility, infertility, and the status of women. She is especially interested in how motherhood and the concept of children are configured in different regions.

research statement

My overarching research interest is in the influence of the social and cultural environment on human development. Over the years, this interest led me to look at this dual process - internal psychological functioning and its cultural context - in a number of ways and in a number of places. The psychological processes I investigated include cognitive and linguistic development, social and moral development, the self in its cultural context, and adolescent identity formation. The focus on the social and cultural context most recently led me to examine those demographic processes which affect children's welfare and behavior. Specifically, I am looking at the manner in which fertility outcomes (the number of children a mother has) influence the context in which children grow up. One of the issues that I am examining is the concept of children in various cultural contexts and how this influences the way people treat children.

In addition to the issues related to children, I am also interested in demographic processes, primarily fertility and marriage, that impact on women. For the past two decades my research has increasingly focused on the relationship between the status of women and fertility. I am currently examining how the power relationship between husbands and wives within marriage influences their communication about their desires to have more children and how this in turn determines their adoption of contraception.

I have done work on these subjects in Eastern Europe (Hungary), East Africa (Tanzania) and West Africa (Nigeria).I have recently completed a book on a community in Hungary where I look at the town's history through the stories of several generations of three families, entitled Scandal in a Small Town . My most current research projects include: the examination of the lives of infertile women – their difficulties and coping mechanisms – in a Nigerian community; and a study of the conceptualization of children by families of different social groups in post-socialist Hungary.

My teaching in the Anthropology Department is divided between my interests in psychological processes and in issues related to population, more specifically to issues of reproduction. I am a member of the Center for the Study of Human Development and of the Population Studies and Training Center.

funded research

National Science Foundation, $140,000

2003- 06
National Science Foundation Grant
The Cultural Context of Infertility in Southern Nigeria

Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Anthropological Demography (with Oka M. Obono), principal investigator

National Science Foundation Grant
Fertility in Northern Tanzania

Mellon Post-doctoral Fellowship in Anthropological Demography

Fulbright Senior Scholars Award
ELTE University, Budapest, Hungary

Institute of International Studies, Brown University
Traveling fellowship to Eastern Europe

NICHD, Post-doctoral fellowship in Demography
University of California, Berkeley

University of Benin, Faculty Research Fellowship
Women's Status and Fertility

Grant Foundation for the Study of Adolescent Sexuality, Adolescent Development Project
Peabody Museum of Anthropology, Harvard University

National Institutes of Mental Health, Adolescent Development Project
Peabody Museum of Anthropology, Harvard University

Population Studies and Training Center grant, Department of Sociology, Brown University

National Academy of Sciences

National Museum of Canada research grant

Spencer Foundation research grant

Norwegian Research Council for Sciences and Humanities, research grant

National Institute of Mental Health, post-doctoral research grant to Hungary

National Institute of Mental Health, post-doctoral training grant in psychology

National Institute of Mental Health, pre-doctoral fellowship and research grant