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In-Class Assignment Study Guide

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University of Toronto Scarborough

Session 6: Changing age & family structures What we learned before is that every country has a different structure in the composition of age and sex We should talk more about this today Age stratification means that there are certain age groups that are different in their composition regarding social and economic factors, and as well as factors like prestige in the country or society in question Could you think about situations or aspects of human society in which these different age groups play a role? Any human aspects in a country or society that might be attached to different age or sex groups? o Social retirement, job loss, marriage, graduation o Demographic marriage, death, birth o Economic retirement, job loss, marriage, graduation With all these different aspects of life, there are certain prestige connected to these aspects, and this stratifies life into different age groups In earlier ages, you only have three strata: infancy, adulthood, and old age However nowadays, it is more stratified (7 strata) infancy, childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, middle age, young old, and old old In earlier ages, they had more time to acquire this knowledge In middle ages, it is quite common that a very short period of infancy of being a child, you were put into work and had to work when you were 10 years old or earlier on your farm or in the business of your father and you worked until the end of your life or werent physically able to work anymore at which time you are in your old age Nowadays, it looks a bit different, you have 7 different strata and each of those age strata, you experience different life aspects and are treated differently in the society you are in Different life events affect you in these strata In adolescence phase nowadays, you wouldnt expect to marry, and if it happens, it is not appreciated by the social order in the society you are living in To these age strata is different statuses and social roles This whole process of moving from one strata to the next one and adhere to the social roles and to acquire the social statuses, this is called socialization processes Talking about different age and sex groups in relation to population geography, you might want to think about age cohorts = groups of people who are born at the same time and then move to these different age strata at the same time We can think of all people born in 1960, and they will experience the same type of life events at the same period of time What you can get here is that age structure of society or a country is quite closely bound to the social structure of this society or country Lets now talk about different sexes and how this affects population geography: o Sex = biological category o Gender = social category o How would gender and sex affect population geography? o Effect of sex = biology has effect on more men than women born o In society, there are more men than women born, however men die early o Mortality of men is higher at any age than the mortality for women o Sex ratio = (proportion of men proportion of women) x 100 o If sex ratio is 110, for every 110 men born, there is 100 women born o It is because higher number of men die, so society wants to compensate for it How to interpret this diagram? What you can see here are three sex ratios for three countries: Ghana, USA, and China Line for China is higher, which means sex ratio for China is higher, which means more men than women this is a social aspect, this has to do with preference for sons over daughters, and it is the effect of the one-child policy of China Males die more rapidly than females in the old ages for all countries Why do you think more countries go for social control of the sexes even in countries where there is a preference for sons? There are some countries like China who have a preference for sons over daughters and use technical solutions like abortion Even in countries with preference for sons like India or Korea, we dont see a lot of use of these technical solutions to have sons over daughters religious reasons and cultural practices and preferences What we also keep in mind is what happens if sex ratio is continuous more men than women If we assume humankind acted in the last thousands of years, then males want to find females and females want to find men, if there are suddenly more men, then this is more difficult for females It might create more homosexuality If less women, can bear less children given the fertility rate is the same Can allow for immigration so that surplus men can find partners from outside of the country It definitely fuels to prostitution activities because men struggle over the women Scholars suggest that the masculinisation of child more than women might produce quite a lot of problems in China, as well as it might arise some international conflicts in the future We have a feminization of old age constantly rising share of women over the last couple of decades in countries where demographic transition took place already In US in 1930s, we have sex ratio of 100 for ages 65+, this went down to 70 now Why doesnt immigration or migration equalize this ratio? o Possibly more female refugees and widows o Aging population from the baby boom o Nowadays, both males and females are allowed to immigrate to the US, but we dont have surplus of males to equalize the ratio, and immigrants that immigrate to US are quite young, thats why they dont play a role in the ratio because it is just for ages 65+
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