3612 Syllabus Fall 2009 - Population and Society (L48/L97...

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Population and Society (L48/L97 3612) Fall 2009, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00-11:30 McMillan 149 Prof. Geoff Childs Dept. of Anthropology, McMillan Hall 330 Phone: 935-9429 E-Mail: gchilds@wustl.edu Office Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays 9:00-10:30am TA: Mary Ann Vicari Office: McMillan Hall 302 Office Hours: Wednesday 12:30-2:30 Email: mavicari@artsci.wustl.edu TA: Jing Xu Office: McMillan Hall 307 Office Hours: Monday 2:00-4:00 Email: jxub@artsci.wustl.edu Course Overview Population and Society employs the inter-disciplinary lenses of demography and anthropology to study population processes and their social consequences. The overall objective is to familiarize students with the basic data, methods, concepts, and theories of population studies, and to demonstrate how anthropological research contributes to our understanding of demography. The course begins with an introduction to demography, the academic discipline devoted to the scientific study of population, and to anthropological demography, the sub-discipline of anthropology that provides a cultural perspective on population research. Afterwards the focus shifts to a critical examination of the sources of demographic data, most notably surveys and national censuses. The core of the course then centers on the three most fundamental demographic processes: mortality (death rates), fertility (birth rates), and migration (population movements). The combination of demographic and anthropological approaches allows students to explore both empirical trends (e.g., declining births rates; disparities in death rates; migration from poor nations to wealthy nations) and their social ramifications. We use three case studies in this course. The first, Demographic Change and the Family in Japan’s Aging Society , examines cultural and social implications of population aging in Japan. The second, Lee and Wang’s important monograph One Quarter of Humanity , is a longitudinal summary of population processes in China, the most populous country in the world. The third, Only Hope , is an anthropological study of China’s “singletons”, children who are coming of age under China’s one-child policy. In this course students will learn factual knowledge about the state of the world’s population, data requirements and methodologies for calculating basic demographic measures, and theoretical approaches to the ways in which culture, economics, and politics interact to influence population processes. Students can expect to gain fundamental skills in demographic literacy, and the ability to think critically about demographic processes and their social implications.
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Required Readings See attached Schedule of Readings and Assignments for the dates of each reading assignment. Books
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3612 Syllabus Fall 2009 - Population and Society (L48/L97...

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