Chapter 20 - Chapter 20—Population and Urbanization •...

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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 20—Population and Urbanization • Many people think that only natural conditions influence human population growth. However, social forces are important influences too. • In particular, sociologists have focused on two major social determinants of population growth: industrialization and social inequality. • Industrialization also plays a major role in causing the movement of people from countryside to city. • Cities are not anonymous and alienating as many sociologists once believed them to be. • The spatial and cultural forms of cities depend largely on the level of development of the societies in which they are found. Population The City of God • We first show that population growth is a process governed less by natural laws than by social forces. We argue that these social forces are not related exclusively to industrialization, as social scientists commonly believed just a few decades ago. Instead, social inequality also plays a major role in shaping population growth. The population “Explosion” • Demographers: social-scientific analysts of human population • In 1978, Thomas Robert Malthus , a British clergyman of the Anglican faith, proposed a highly influential theory of human population Theories of Population Growth The Malthusian T rap • Malthus concluded that “the superior power of population cannot be checked without producing misery or vice” • Malthusian T rap: a cycle of population growth followed by an outbreak of war, pestilence, or famine that keeps population growth in check A Critique of Malthus • Developments point to one conclusion. Malthus’ pessimism was overstated. Human ingenuity seems to have enabled us to wriggle free of the Malthusian trap, at least for the time being. Demographic T ransition Theory • Demographic T ransition Theory: explains how changes in fertility and mortality affected population growth from preindustrial to postindustrial times. The Preindustrial Period • Crude Death Rate: annual number of deaths per 1000 people in a population • Crude Birth Rate: annual number of live births per 1000 women in a population Early I ndustrial Period Mature I ndustrial Period Postindustrial Period • Replacement Level: number of children that each woman must have on average for population size to remain stable. Ignoring any inflow of population from other countries and any outflow to other countries, the replacement level is 2.1. • I mmigration: inflow of people into one country from one or more other countries and their settlement in the destination country • Emigration: outflow of people from one country and their settlement in one or more other countries. A Critique of Demographic T ransition Theory Population and Social I nequality Karl Ma rx • In his view, overpopulation is not a problem of too many people. Instead it is a problem of too much poverty. Do away with the exploitation of workers by their employers, said Marx, and poverty will disappear....
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This note was uploaded on 05/31/2008 for the course SOCIOLOGY 001 taught by Professor Lovaglia during the Fall '07 term at University of Iowa.

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Chapter 20 - Chapter 20—Population and Urbanization •...

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