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Chapter 0

SOCI 234 Chapter Notes - Chapter 0: American Statistical Association, Immigration, E-Book

Course Code
SOCI 234

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Updated 4 September 2014
SOCI 234 Population and Society
Fall 2014
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 3:35pm-4:25pm (15:35-16:25)
SADB 2/36
Instructor: Dr. Sarah Brauner-Otto
Email: sarah.brauner-otto@mcgill.ca
728 Leacock Building
(514) 398-5682
Office hours:
Mondays 10:30am-11:30am
Or by appointment
Teaching Assistant (TA): Marianne Paul; marianne.paul2@mail.mcgill.ca
TA Office hours: Tuesdays 10:15am-11:15am in Leacock 822A
Course description:
This course provides an introduction to the field of social demography in a global perspective.
We will focus on the causes and consequences of population change through the major
population processes of mortality, fertility, and migration. The course will be a combination of
lecture, multi-media presentations, discussions, and in-class activities.
Some basic math skills (adding, subtracting, division, multiplication, exponentiation, etc) are
necessary to be successful in this course.
Course website:
We will make use of the course website through myCourses. Readings not in the text book may
be posted there and I will use the email feature for most email communications.
The Discussion section of the myCourses page for this class will be available throughout the
course. You can post questions here regarding the material, links to interesting and related
articles or video clips, or thoughts you may have had on the material. The TA and I will monitor
this pagewe will answer any questions but I encourage you to help answer questions your
peers pose. Any abuse of the page will result in being reported to the appropriate authority.
Required text:
Weeks, John R. 2012. Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues. 11th ed. Belmont,
CA: Wadsworth. Available for purchase at the McGill Bookstore. A copy of the book is also on
reserve in the library.
The book is expensive if you buy it new from the bookstore. If you sell it back to at the
end of the semester you can receive some of that back. I recommend Amazon.ca for used
copies. You can also buy the e-book from the publisher for much less.

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Updated 4 September 2014
We will read the entire book and exams will cover that material (as well as lecture
material) so it is crucial that you purchase the book to be successful in this class.
Additional journal articles can be found electronically through the library. If not, they will be
made available to students either through the myCourses website or as an email attachment. If
you do not know how to find academic journal articles through the library you can come to
office hours or ask a librarian for help.
You will need a calculator for this class. Most, if not all, the calculations will only require a basic
calculator, like the one probably on your phone. You can use this for the homework. You will
not need a calculator for the exams.
You may want to download Population Handbook from the Population Reference Bureau to use
as an additional reference. This is available on myCourses or at
You will need paper and a writing utensil to take notes in every class. Laptops are not allowed
(see policy below).
Course requirements: The course requirements are non-negotiable. If you know you cannot
meet them, do not take this course.
In the event of extraordinary circumstances beyond the University’s control, the content and/or
evaluation scheme in this course is subject to change.
1. Three tests (3x15%=45%). Tests will cover basic concepts and demographic methods
taught in the lectures and in the readings. Tests are not specifically cumulative, but to
the degree that the concepts in the course build on one another the material presented
in the first part of the semester may be included on the second test. Additionally,
films presented in one point in the semester may be referred to in test questions later
on in the semester. Tests will be a combination of multiple choice, true-false, and
short answer. There may be essay questions. The tests will include equations. You
will not have to do the math, but you will have to know the correct formula, how to
use it, and how to interpret it.
Test 1 will cover all material presented up until the test date (Friday,
September 26). This includes the introductory section on demography as a
field, demographic theories, and demographic data.
Test 2 will cover all material presented in the section on mortality, morbidity,
and health. This may include issues topics initially introduced in the first
section such as appropriate demographic data for measuring mortality and
application of demographic theories to mortality.
Test 3 will cover all material presented in the section on fertility and family
life. This may include how issues related to fertility and family life are also
related to issues on mortality, but there will not be mortality only questions on
the test. Material from the first section may also be included as described for
test 2.

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Updated 4 September 2014
2. Final exam (30%) will cover all material presented in the class and will be held
during the final exam period. There will be more questions specific to the final
section of the course covering migration, population and the environment, and policy
responses. But, all material is fair game. The exam will be a combination of multiple
choice, true-false, and short answer. There may be essay questions. The exam will
include equations as with the in-class tests.
3. Homework assisgnments (3x6%=18%). There will be three homework assignments
posted on myCourses. The assignments will cover the specific measures and
equations demographers use to understand mortality, fertility, and migration. You can
help each other complete the assignment but each student must submit their own
homework assignment. All homework assignments are due in hardcopy at the start of
the lecture for which they are due (see schedule below). If you cannot attend lecture
that day it is your responsibility to ensure I receive a hardcopy before the start of
lecture. See the policies regarding late assignments and submitting assignments
outside of lecture below.
4. Class participation (7%). Students are expected to have read all readings before each
class period and be prepared to discuss them in depth. There are several components
to determining your class participation grade:
Participation in class discussions. Actively participating in class discussions,
either by asking questions, making relevant comments, or helping to answer
others’ questions are all important contributions you should make.
In-class exercises. There will be worksheets, exercises, or activities done in
class. These will need to be completed at the time and will be graded. Doing
the readings before each class and actively participating in class is all the
preparation you need to do these assignments well. If you do not complete
these you will not receive the full amount for class participation for that day.
Discussion forum. The discussion feature of the myCourses website is open
and I encourage you to use it. The TA and I may post questions here
throughout the semester, in particular this may occur if we run out of time
discussing a topic or film in class. If you pose questions or discussion topics
the forum can also be a helpful way to studying together for the tests and final
exam and/or to engage further with the material. There is no mandatory
requirement for participating in discussions, but your active, thoughtful
participation will positively contribute to your class participation grade.
5. Signed student contract. All students must turn in a signed student contract (available on
myCourses) demonstrating that you have read the syllabus and have understood all of the
policies and information it contains. This must be returned to me by the first test (Friday,
September 26). You will not receive credit for any in-class assignments, will not be
allowed to take any tests, nor will you be allowed to submit homework if you have not
submitted this contract. They can be completed electronically and emailed to me or you
can turn in a hard copy.
“In accord with McGill University’s Charter of Students’ Rights, students in this course have
the right to submit in English or in French any written work that is to be graded. (approved
by Senate on 21 January 2009 see also the section in this document on Assignments and
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