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Demographic Processes

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Explanations and amplifications of ideas related to the basic processes of demography, for an introductory sociology course.

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Demographic Processes

  1. 1. Explanations & Supplemental Information for Chapter 19 of The Sociology Project
  2. 2. • Understanding of set of processes underlying • Births, • Deaths, • Movement into and out of given population • Describing change in • Fertility, • Mortality, • Migration • Understanding what might be causing changes
  3. 3.  MANIFEST functions of a social pattern  outcomes people consciously intend or predict from the actions they choose  the explanations they give themselves  LATENT functions of a social pattern  the outcomes that regularly occur but are neither foreseen or intended.  must be discovered through research  POPULATION dynamics stem from BOTH
  4. 4.  LATENT  Polygyny  Dowry (economic)  Marry late (age)  Taboos about non-marital sexual intercourse  Higher divorce rates  Religious bans (180 days/year)  Breastfeeding  MANIFEST  Potions, spells, etc.  Since 1850 B.C., barrier methods of contraception used  Coitus interruptus  Abortion  Infanticide (c.f. story of Moses...)
  5. 5. Core Concept: Demographic transition • Initial pretransition period: • high fertility • high mortality • Transitional period • mortality first declines • followed by decline in fertility • Posttransition period • both fertility and mortality are low
  6. 6.  Sudan-1950  Start of first demographic transition  Rapid decreases in mortality, but much later and slower decreases in fertility, which in turn imply very rapid population growth  U.S.  End of first demographic transition  Age pyramid after age 60  Replacement fertility  Japan  Completed first demographic transition  Below replacement fertility
  7. 7. Immigration • U.S.: Population involves in- and out-migration • Japan: Very small immigrant population Population momentum • U.S.: Continued slow growth • Japan: Initial and then decreased growth
  8. 8. Baby Boom bulge in middle of pyramid. Long lives means many more elderly in future years.
  9. 9. First demographic transition • Impacts kinds of disease and health conditions affecting countries Epidemiological transition • Healh transition of population • from health conditions primarily involving infectious disease • to health conditions primarily involving chronic disease
  10. 10. 16 Why 40-44? First bar = 1976 (What year were these women 20 years old?) Last bar = 1998 (What year were these women 20 years old?) What pattern?
  11. 11. 17 Light Saber
  12. 12. Planning for a world with many elders & few babies.
  13. 13. This pattern is very likely, unless something occurs that causes the death rate of the elderly to increase dramatically. Source: United Nations FPA: Ageing in the Twenty-First Century: A Celebration and A Challenge http://www.unfpa.org/webdav/site/global/shared/documents/publications/2012/UNFPA-Main-Report-Part2.pdf
  14. 14. Will some countries age more quickly than others? Japan (if fertility remains at very low subreplacement levels) • Rapid population aging • Rapid population decline Demographic Winter (Friday’s film) will report fertility figures for some of European countries that are well below 2.0, some as low as 1.1 children per woman (population will be half its current size in 33 years).
  15. 15. This pattern is somewhat less certain. No nation has ever reversed the decline in birth-rate. However, governments in Japan, Russia and Sweden are trying to boost their birth rates. Such policies might have an impact.
  16. 16. Possible World Population Growth Curves
  17. 17. Some social scientists have great concern that population decline will have economic and social consequences that will be hard to live with. They produced a film titled Demographic Winter.
  18. 18.  What are the patterns of childbearing?  What are the economic impacts?  What are the social trends that generated and sustain the pattern?  Is this a problem?  If so, what policies are needed?
  19. 19.  The search for causes is seeking explanation  If the situation is considered a problem, the resolution is not necessarily the reversal of the original circumstances.  Example: Obesity is a growing problem because we have more, cheaper food than any time in history. No one suggests going back to less efficient agriculture to cure obesity – but other policies do try to have an impact on the problem.  The facts in the film are solid. It is designed to be provocative so that people think.
  20. 20. Explanations & Supplemental Information for Chapter 19 of The Sociology Project