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Chapter 14

SOC 100 Chapter Notes - Chapter 14: Deindustrialization, Human Ecology, Northeast Megalopolis

Course Code
SOC 100

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Chapter 14: Population and Urbanization
A Planet with No Space for Enjoying Life?
Demography is the study of the size, composition, growth, and distribution of human
The Malthus theorem states that although the worlds food supply increases
arithmetically, population grows exponentially
o In the next 12 years, the world will add as many people as it did during the entire
time from when the first humans began to walk the earth until the year 1800
o The New Malthusians believe that this will lead to a showdown between
population and food
The Anti-Malthusians believe that a more accurate view of the future is given by
Europes demographic transition
o This transition for a society consists of 4 steps
Stage 1: Stable population. Death and Birth rates are generally balanced
Stage 2: Rapid growth in population, so that the birth rate drastically
surpasses the death rate
Stage 3: Births drop to match the deaths, giving a stable population
Stage 4: Deaths now outnumber births, causes a shrinking population
o They believe that there will be demographic free fall, where more nations enter
stage 4, and so the worlds population will start to decline
o They believe population growth will not be a problem in the future, but
population shrinkage will be
Population growth has started to decline because of a concentrated effort to reduce
birth rates in the less industrialized nations, in order to keep the economy stable for
industrialized nations
There is more food per person today than there was in 1950, but there are still starving
children. Fixing this problem requires two things:
o The transferring of food from places with a surplus of food to those who have a
o Teaching people more efficient farming techniques in places with a shortage of
Population Growth
The population of the least industrialized nations continues to rise much faster than the
most industrialized nations

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There are a number of reasons that having many children is important in developing
o In these nations, women/ men prove their womanhood/manhood by having
o This idea is reinforced by their communities, because it gives them status
o Children are also seen as economic assets. Children begin to contribute to the
household economically at a very young age, and many children are needed so
that they can support their parents in their old age
o Many feminists argue that the reason poor people have so many children is that
men control womens reproductive choices
The population of the average least industrialized nation will double in just 50 years
o This means that in order to break even, there must also be double the jobs,
houses, food, water, schools, and everything else that is needed in a society
o If they do not meet these demands, the standard of living will continue to drop
Conflict theorists claim that this decline in the standards of living threaten the worlds
political stability
o This results in repression from the government
o The most industrialized nations want to maintain their dominance in global
To do this, they start campaigns to bring agricultural aid, IUDs, and
condoms to the less industrialized nations
They also sell weapons to them
A population pyramid is a graph that represents the age and sex of a population
o Age structure can give a country greater population momentum
o This happens when most of the women in a country are in their childbearing
There are 3 demographic variables that are used to estimate the future population of a
country, they are:
o Fertility
The fertility rate is the average number of children that the average
woman bears
Fecundity is the number of children that a woman is capable of bearing
Researchers calculate this by finding the crude birth rate (annual number
of live births per 1000 people)
o Mortality
This variable is found by calculating the crude death rate (annual number
of deaths per 1000 people)
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