Sociology Index


Population & Demography, Demographic transition

Demography is the study of populations, including their size, structure and transformations. Demography is the branch of knowledge that deals with human populations; especially. the statistical analysis of births, deaths, migrations, disease, etc., as illustrating the conditions of life in communities.

Social demography is an area of inquiry which seeks to understand the causes and consequences of population and demographic change by examining sociological and also economic variables.

The Demography of Conflict and Violence: An Introduction 
Helge Brunborg, Division for Social and Demographic Research, Statistics Norway.
Henrik Urdal, Centre for the Study of Civil War, International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO) 
The demography of armed conflict is an emerging field among demographers and peace researchers alike. The articles in this special issue treat demography as both a cause and a consequence of armed conflict, and they carry important policy implications.

Other articles focusing on the demographic causes of conflict discuss highly contentious issues of whether economic and social inequality, high population pressure on natural resources, and youth bulges and limited migration opportunities can lead to different forms of armed conflict and state failure. The articles on demographic responses to armed conflict analyze the destructiveness of pre-industrial warfare, differences in short- and long-term mortality trends after armed conflict, and migratory responses in war.

Assimilation and differences between the settlement patterns of individual immigrants and immigrant households - Spatial Demography Special Feature - Mark Ellis and Richard Wright 
Department of Geography, University of Washington, Edited by William A. V. Clark, University of California
Abstract: Analyses of immigrant settlement patterns typically rely on counts of foreign-born individuals by neighborhood, metropolitan area, state, or region. As an alternative, this study classifies immigrants and their descendents into household types to shift attention from individuals to relationships between individuals. The study uses pooled current population survey data to identify seven household types, six of which have various degrees of immigrant or second-generation presence. Our analysis shows that the geography of immigration based on households differs considerably from geographies based on individuals. The spatial distribution and concentration of the foreign-stock population provides one picture of immigrant geographies, whereas the patterns of concentration by several different household types opens up the chance to tell other stories.

Perspectives on the geographic stability and mobility of people in cities 
Susan Hanson, School of Geography, Clark University - Spatial Demography Special Feature
Abstract: A class of questions in the human environment sciences focuses on the relationship between individual or household behavior and local geographic context. Central to these questions is the nature of people's geographic mobility as well as the duration of their locational stability at varying spatial and temporal scales. The problem for researchers is that the processes of mobility/stability are temporally and spatially dynamic and therefore difficult to measure. Whereas time and space are continuous, analysts must select levels of aggregation for both length of time in place and spatial scale of place that fit with the problem in question. Previous work has emphasized mobility and suppressed stability as an analytic category. I focus here on stability and show how analyzing individuals' stability requires also analyzing their mobility.

Migration up and down the urban hierarchy and across the life course 
D. A. Plane, C. J. Henrie, and M. J. Perry, Edited by Susan Hanson, Spatial Demography Special Feature
Abstract: In this article, we begin by reviewing the concept of step migration that originated in E. G. Ravenstein's seminal papers "The Laws of Migration" (1885, 1889). As a result of the forces of the Industrial Revolution underway in 19th century Great Britain, migrants moved from farms to villages, from villages to towns, from towns to county seats, and thence to large cities. Throughout much of the industrialization era in the United States, net population movements similarly were upward within the urban hierarchy, and step migration today remains widespread throughout much of the still developing world. Our investigations of recent data and trends, however, suggest that the latest U.S. migration-pattern regime is a strongly contrasting one. Many of the major movements in the system of internal (or domestic) migration are flows down the urban hierarchy, although we note highly differentiated patterns for persons and households at specific stages of the life course.

Population distribution and redistribution of the baby-boom cohort in the United States: Recent trends and implications - Peter A. Rogerson and Daejong Kim - Spatial Demography Special Feature, Edited by Susan Hanson
Abstract: Over 70 million people were born into the baby-boom cohort between 1946 and 1964. Over 65 million of these individuals are presently alive, and thus the cohort continues to exert a powerful influence on regional population change in the United States. In this article, we examine the recent and current geographic distribution of the baby-boom cohort. In 1990, the members of the cohort comprised a particularly high proportion of the population in a small number of dynamic metropolitan areas. We also highlight the recent migration trends exhibited by this cohort; these trends are potentially important early indicators of the retirement-related migration patterns that the cohort might follow. The spatial redistribution of the cohort has many implications, including potentially significant consequences for intergenerational relationships and caregiving.

The changing demographic, legal, and technological contexts of political representation 
Benjamin Forest - Department of Geography, Dartmouth College, Hanover 
Edited by William A. V. Clark, University of California, Los Angeles, CA - Spatial Demography Special Feature
Abstract: Three developments have created challenges for political representation in the U.S. and particularly for the use of territorially based representation (election by district). First, the demographic complexity of the U.S. population has grown both in absolute terms and in terms of residential patterns. Second, legal developments since the 1960s have recognized an increasing number of groups as eligible for voting rights protection. Third, the growing technical capacities of computer technology, particularly Geographic Information Systems, have allowed political parties and other organizations to create election districts with increasingly precise political and demographic characteristics.

Confidentiality and spatially explicit data: Concerns and challenges 
Leah K. VanWey, Ronald R. Rindfuss , Myron P. Gutmann , Barbara Entwisle , and Deborah L. Balk - Edited by Susan Hanson,
Spatial Demography Special Feature
Abstract: Recent theoretical, methodological, and technological advances in the spatial sciences create an opportunity for social scientists to address questions about the reciprocal relationship between context (spatial organization, environment, etc.) and individual behavior. This emerging research community has yet to adequately address the new threats to the confidentiality of respondent data in spatially explicit social survey or census data files, however. This paper presents four sometimes conflicting principles for the conduct of ethical and high-quality science using such data: protection of confidentiality, the social–spatial linkage, data sharing, and data preservation. The conflict among these four principles is particularly evident in the display of spatially explicit data through maps combined with the sharing of tabular data files. This paper reviews these two research activities and shows how current practices favor one of the principles over the others and do not satisfactorily resolve the conflict among them.

Demography of Sexual Orientation in Adolescents 
Gary Remafedi MD, MPH, Michael Resnick PhD, Robert Blum MD, PhD, and Linda Harris
From the Adolescent Health Program, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnnesota Hospital and Clinics, Minneapolis
This study was undertaken to explore patterns of sexual orientation in a representative sample of Minnesota junior and senior high school students. The sample included 34706 students (grades 7 through 12) from diverse ethnic, geographic, and socioeconomic strata. Gender differences were minor; but responses to Individual sexual orientation items varied with age, religiosity, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Uncertainty about sexual orientation diminished in successively older age groups, with corresponding increases in heterosexual and homosexual affiliation.

Aging: The Reality - Demography of Human Supercentenarians 
L. Stephen Coles, Department of Surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles. 
The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences - 2004 The Gerontological Society of America 
An international committee of demographers has created a carefully documented list of worldwide living supercentenarians (110 years old) that has been published by the Los Angeles Gerontology Research Group on its web site and updated on a weekly basis for the past 6 years. What can be learned by studying this distinguished group of individuals? Although everyone agrees that average life expectancy has systematically advanced linearly over the last century, it is not realistic to expect that this pace can continue indefinitely. Our data suggest that, without the invention of some new unknown form of medical breakthrough, the Guinness Book of World Records benchmark established by French woman Jeanne Calment of 122 years, set back in 1997, will be exceedingly difficult to break in our lifetime.

Israeli Discourse on Arab-Jewish Demography - Elia Zureik
Abstract: While demography is not new to Zionist and Israeli discourse, its veracity now and the need, in the face of declining Jewish immigration and continuing increase in the size of the Arab population, to settle once and for all the geography and political contours of the “Jewish” state is greater than ever. The paper situates the debate within discussions about the role of demography in ethnically-bound societies, the evolution of population balance between Arabs and Jews since 1948, including population projections should Israel retain its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, the relationship between modernization and demographic structure. 
The paper points out that the population debate is driven by three factors: exaggerating the size of the Arab population in Israel through counting the Arabs of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights as part of Israel, the inapplicability of the modernization thesis to demography as long as socio-economic policies towards the Arab sector remain discriminatory in their essence, and the tendency to solve the demographic issue by espousing population transfer and land exchange in the name of national security.

Disentangling the Effects of Demography and Selection in Human History
Jason E. Stajich and Matthew W. Hahn - Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Duke University; and Center for Population Biology, University of California.
Abstract: Demographic events affect all genes in a genome, whereas natural selection has only local effects. Using publicly available data from 151 loci sequenced in both European-American and African-American populations, we attempt to distinguish the effects of demography and selection. To analyze large sets of population genetic data such as this one, we introduce "Perlymorphism," a Unix-based suite of analysis tools. Our analyses show that the demographic histories of human populations can account for a large proportion of effects on the level and frequency of variation across the genome. The African-American population shows both a higher level of nucleotide diversity and more negative values of Tajima's D statistic than does a European-American population. Using coalescent simulations, we show that the significantly negative values of the D statistic in African-Americans and the positive values in European-Americans are well explained by relatively simple models of population admixture and bottleneck, respectively. Working within these nonequilibrium frameworks, we are still able to show deviations from neutral expectations at a number of loci, including ABO and TRPV6.