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Chapter 16. Demography and Urbanization.doc

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Western University
Sociology 1020
Kim Luton

Chapter 16: demography and urbanization → Demography: is the study of population; it examines how the size, structure, and rate of growth are affected by rates of fertility , mortality and migration → Demographic trends come about through their interaction with other social, cultural, and economic variables The course of the world population growth → Crude Birth Rate (CBR): a measure devised by demographers to help us understand how births determine the rate of population growth, calculated by dividing the number of births occurring in a population in a given period of time by the total size of the population, and expressed per thousand population → Crude Death Rate (CDR): a measure devised by demographers to helps us understand how deaths determine the rate of population growth, calculated by dividing the number of deaths occurring in a population in a given period of time by the total size of the population, and expressed per thousand population → The CBR in the world today is approximately twenty-one thousand, while the CDR is only nine per thousand → The twelve persons per thousand difference between these two rates is a measure of how fast the population is growing per year, and known as the rate of natural increase. → Rate of natural increase: measure of how fast the population is growing per year, based on the difference between the crude birth rate and the crude death rate → With increased industrialization and even higher standards of living in the nineteenth century, the pace of demographic growth began to quicken → World population now stands at about 6.5 Billion → 1.2 percent is an average, concealing tremendous variation in population growth rates in different parts of the world → In countries like Canada, the rate of natural increase is low, 0.4 percent → Many countries of Eastern Europe, including Russia and Hungary, the rate is negative, more people die than are born → Asia and Africa, population growth is very rapid Classical views of population [Side Box] → Beginnings of modern approach to demography date from one piece of writing, Thomas Malthus’s (1970) An essay on the Principle of Population → Painted a deliberately bleak picture of humanity’s future → Societies may experience considerable technological and social progress, but population growth would always be a problem → Human nature contains two basic needs/drives: the need to eat and “the passion between the sexes” → Positive Checks: events of circumstances which stop the growth of population, including war, famine and disease → Human society, could avoid the punishing effects of positive checks to population growth by taking steps to limit the number of births → Advised people to postpone marriage until they were ready to provide for children → Only using the Preventative check: controlling population by people postponing marriage until they could provide for the children that would be born to them , could society avoid the endless cycle of population growth followed by insufficient food and rising mortality → Malthus’ ideas on population and society seem outdated today → Technological process, at least in the industrialized world, has expanded food supplies far beyond levels Malthus could have imagined → Spread of modern birth control=population decline → Marx felt Malthus blamed the poor for producing children they could not afford → Some less developed countries argue that their economic problems lie less in the size of their population than in the unequal relations between the rich and poor countries → Solution to poverty in the countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America, requires not population control, but rather a fundamental global redistribution of wealth, away from North America and Europe Demographic Transition Theory → Demographic transition theory: suggests that societies pass through a three-stage process of change → In the first stage, population grows slowly because high birth rates are balanced by high, if fluctuating, death rates → In this stage, the average woman gives birth to five or six children → High birth rate is offset by high mortality → If these societies are to survive, a high level of fertility is thus essential → In these non-industrial society, children are a more valuable resource → Can be valuable for household chores, etc and as parents grow old, are good for support → Children in these societies less costly to raise than those in an industrialized society → Societies move into the second stage of transition, one marked by a combination of high birth rates and declining death rates, as a result of industrialization and the development of a modern economy and the enormous changes in living conditions that come with them → Higher standard of living combined with improvements in sanitation and health gradually reduces death rates, especially for infants and children → This decline in mortality rates is not immediately matched by a decline in the birth rate → Birth control, forbidden by religion, thus birth rates remain high for a generation or so after mortality rates begin to decline and societies experience a period of rapid population growth → Persistence of low mortality gradually convinces couples that they do not need to have a large number of births to ensure several surviving children → Thus eventually societies pass into the third stage of the transition in which birth rates begin to decline significantly → Continuing economic and technological change greatly reduces the economic value of children while simultaneously increasing their costs → Childhood in today’s industrial society is no longer spend in the workplace, but in school → New balance between birth and rate rates and a population that grows slowly, or not at all → Developing countries are further behind in the transition process → Western countries have entered the final stage of transition, less-developed countries are in stage two → Does transition theory accurately reflect the past experience of Western societies? → Will that Western experience be repeated in currently developing countries? → Arguments that France experienced significant change in birth and death rates before the beginning of widespread industrialization → Others pointed to parts of Germany, where the birth rate actually began to decline before the infant mortality rate did → Fewer children, they argued, enabled parents to provide a better standard of care, leading to lower rates of infant and childhood death → In developing countries, women marry earlier and thus have a longer period to produce children Factors affecting Population Growth Fertility Fertility measurement → CBR has major limitation; it considers childbearing in relation to the entire population (men, infants, and the aged), and not in relation to those capable of having children → Age specific fertility rate: alternative to the CBR, obtained by dividing the number of births to women of a given age by the total number of women of that age in the population → Benefits: can observe changes in the age pattern of fertility and if we add up the age- specific rates for women across the childbearing years, we arrive at an estimate of the average number of children a woman will bear in her lifetime if she experiences the current age-specific rate of fertility → Total fertility rate (TFR): estimate of the average number of children a woman will bear in her lifetime if she experiences the current age-specific rates of fertility, expressed per woman → Period measures: measures referring to a specific period of time → Cohort approach: all people who share a common year of birth belong to a particular cohort → Cohort measure: measuring demographic data based on segments of the population divided by year of birth (if you were born in 1985, you are a member of the 1980s birth cohort) Social and biological factors affect fertility → Fecundity: refers to the biological potential to bear children → Fertility: refers to the actual childbearing of a woman or group of women → Thus, a woman may be fecund (able to give birth to a child), but not fertile (she has not yet given birth to a child) → Number of reasons fertility rates tend to fall; most societies have customs that, often unintentionally, tend to limit fertility → From a biological standpoint, later marriage was once the biggest limit on fertility → Other unintentional practices lowering fertility; breast-feeding, natural contraceptive that suppresses ovulation → Philippines, promotes breast feeding as a way to prevent pregnancy → Contraception is the most important fertility reducing method in our society → Sterilization is common and are higher in Canada than in other societies → Abortion → Use of abortion varies among countries, laws, population policies, reproductive health services, etc → In Russia, it is estimated that one half of all pregnancies end in abortion → In sum, marriage patterns, breast feeding practices, contraceptive use and abortion are four very important and measurable factors explaining variations in fertility across time and among societies → Referred to as proximate determinants because they act directly on fertility Fertility in developed societies → Postwar period saw a shift toward younger childbearing. Couples married younger and meant earlier childbearing → Age of marriage is rising, and there is a delay between the marriage the birth of the first child → In 2003, 36% of first-time mothers were over 30 years of age → Increasing presence of women in higher education and their growing involvement in the labour force lie behind the shift to later childbearing → Weakening link between marriage and childbearing Fertility in developin
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