Populations (Sociology44) Notes

Populations (Sociology44) Notes - Population Boom or Doom...

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Population Boom or Doom Population Growth => misery -Malthus Population Growth=> development -Durkheim -Economic optimists Population growth can be good or bad, depending on the geopolitical context -Marxists, world-systems analysts Thomas R. Malthus -Wrote in reaction to enlightenment optimists -Became slightly pessimistic over the course of seven editions of his essay on populations -Poverty is inevitable for some people Principle of Population -“Population, when unchecked increases in a geometric ratio.” -“Subsistence increases only in an arithmetical ratio.” Checks to population -Ultimate check: Lack of food -“Positive checks”: other causes of death -“Preventive checks”: Limits to birth -Abstinence, contraception, abortion -Malthis accepted only “moral restraint” that is , late marriage without premarital sex Critique of Malthus -Downplayed role of technology -Relationship of population growth to poverty not supported by data -England -China -Overlooks migration -Opposed charity “Tradgedy of the Commons” -Herds grave on common ground -Each herdsman weighs costs and benefits of adding another animal -Benefit: Sale of animals -Cost: Potential of overgrazing -Tragedy is tradeoff More development, Population Stability: J.S. Mill -Mill: Standard of living (“fear of want”) affects fertility -Poverty is not inevitable -Any overpopulation should be temporary, caused my nature, not society -Let women manage fertility
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-Educate children More People, More Development -Emile Durkheim: Population growth increases the division of labor -Ester Boserup: Population growth spurs advances in agriculture (agriculture intensification) -Julian Simon: Population growth spurs innovation in a free market Critique of Boomsters -Cannot assume continuity with past -Greater population does not automatically produce greater innovation -Simon bases conclusions on stimulation that assume that improvements to roads, schools, ect., have not cost. -Capacity to expand food production may be more limited Political Context Most Important -Environment sets human activity -Socialism promotes economic development -Capitalism causes poverty -Growing population forments socialist revolution World Systems Approach -Core-periphery dichotomy -Developed countries exploit periphery -Freedom from debt and exploitation would lead to development of periphery -Poverty would end -Population size then is neutral factor Example: Malawi Famine -Why does famine occur? -Corrupt governments -Self-serving aid donors -Western policies aimed at subsidies, not trade -Current debate often omits Marxist and neo-Marxist perspectives Observations -Marxist approach may be too black and white. -Current debate often omits Marxist and neo-Marxist perspectives January 22, 2008 Age and Sex Age and sex distributions - Population pyramid - Sex Ratios
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Why do sex and age matter? -DEMOGRAPHICALLY
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Populations (Sociology44) Notes - Population Boom or Doom...

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