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Amel Belmahdi SOC103H1 Wednesday, July 8, 2013 Lecture 2 – Population, Urban Life and the Environment Cities as Miniature Staging Groups: − Competition between humans and other species (ex. Insects, etc). Population Growth and the Environment: - Can the human race survive the population size and the rapid incrase of population size? Population Size: − Demography → the study of population. − Several demographic variables have an effect on the environment, the first of which is population size. − Alarge population puts more pressure on the natural environment than a small population. − However, a large population is almost more likely to innovate – to invent new technologies and new ways of producing food and wealth. Growth Leads to Differentiation: − The larger the population gets, the more social differentiation (specialization – kind we're accumosted to in modern, urban societies) there is. − In hunter-gartherer societies – there isn't much differentiation (with the exceptions of gender and age). Population Composition: − Different kinds of communities with different compositions of people that effect the kinds of experiences people face in these communities. Different Approaches to Population Growth: − Issue due to population growth vs. the natural envrionment. Functionalism: Malthus: − Thomas Malthus (1766-1834) was the first to suggest that population problems could threaten human existence. − Malthus was certain that, without preventive checks, population would always outgrow its food supply. − There would inevitably be a “point of crisis” where people would start to die off in large numbers, through famine, disease, or war. Because they'll reproduce until no more food and they'll fight each other to survive, or diseases will circle around the population and they would pass diseases, killing people. He called these “positive checks.” − Since human beings are animals, they'll have sex when they can. With more sex, there's an increase in offspring, increasing population size (no longer a big issue in this society with all the contraceptives). ATheory of Population Equilibrium: − Functionlist theories are about equilibrium too. The Role of Checks and Limits: − Malthus only believed in abstinence and delayed marriage (didn't believe people have sex for fun – found it immoral, so people get married to have sex – if poor and can't afford raising the kids, then don't get married or don't have sex). Demographic Transition Theory: Another Equilibrium Theory: − With development, there's a process called “demographic transition” where a population would go from high birth and death rates, to low birth and low death rates. Cities as Functional Units: − As populations grow, settle and produce a food surplus, cities develop. − Cities are where the most important social, cultural, political, and commerical advances occur. − However, the key features of a city-namely, size, variety, and fluidity-also promote social disorganization (confusion, anxiety and uncertainty) and weak social controls. Cities as Dysfunctional Units: − Rural communities – Everyone knows each other. − Urban-industrial society – Everyone is doing their own thing. Urban Industrial Society tends to Harm the Natural Environment: − Disruptive of nature. Conflict Theory: − Karl Marx argued against Malthus. − Underdevelopment → Low level of material properity and industrialization. Conflict Theory in Pictures: − In the interest of developed nations to maintain well-being of underdeveloped nations. What Causes Poverty?: − Conflict theorists (Karl Marx) vs. Functionalist theorists (Thomas Malthus). What Causes Urban Problems?: − Conflict theorists see that people in big cities are segregated in certain ways (ex. rich live in rich areas – main subway lines in Toronto for example, poor people live in poorer areas – for example in Toronto, Scarborough, near airports, Jane and Finch). − Least likely to have good services, sanitation, and attention. Example: Nimbyism – Condo-dwellers Wary of Downtown Needle Exchange: − Nimyism (dictionary) → The practice of objecting to something that will affect one or take place in one's locality. What Causes Human Disasters?: − Economic inequality is also important for the environment. − Consider what are often thought of as “natural” disasters. − Over 90% of disaster-related deaths occur among the poor populations of developing countries. − These “natural” disasters have social consequences because they have social causes as well as natural ones. − Ex. The effects of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. − Ex. In Montreal, railway that carries cart filled with flammable chemicals and for 5-6 hours the train would be unattended in the middle of the cities and there were 5-6 control systems on the train but there's only one that commits to the break system which failed and nobody knew, so the train went down the hill and it drifted off the tracks and exploded (not a natural disaster). Symbolic Interactionism: SKIPPED! The Human EcologyApproach: SKIPPED! Poor People Get the Worst City Experiences: SKIPPED! (How) Do These Issues Enter Our Consciousness?: SKIPPED! FeministApproaches: SKIPPED! Ecofeminism: SKIPPED! AClassic Study: Meadows et al.'s The Limit
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