Population and Society - Humanities and Social Sciences - Lecture Notes, Study notes for Humanities. Cochin University of Science and Technology

Humanities

Description: This course proposes to discuss the relationship between social processes and demographic transition in India. main discussion of course is on introducing the tools and techniques of social demography, Indian data on demographic trends and theories. It includes: Population, Society, Social, Concepts, Economics, Psychology, Anthropologists, Qualitative, Relationship
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Module 1
Introduction: Population and Society
Lecture 1: Introduction
Slide 1
INTRODUCTION
Social processes are closely linked with human population. Therefore, for students of society it is
important to study characteristics of population. According to the latest estimates of United Nations
Population Fund, the size of India’s population is 1,198.0 millions. Imagine if the size of population of
India were 120 million, i.e., one-tenth of the present population, what would be its impact on society.
Would we have the same level of poverty and unemployment? Would we have the same level of
conflicts and chaos? Would that affect the position of India in the international politics? Are there only
good consequences of lower population or there are some harmful consequences too? Remember that
today in India a city like Mumbai itself has more population than you are imagining for whole India. You
will learn that the relationship between population and society is not one way. Not only population
determines structure and processes of society but society also determines the population characteristics
and dynamics. Is it not true that industrialization and development have reduced family size in all the
Western countries? Is it not true that concern for children’s education leads to use of contraception; and
women’s employment improves their decision making power in the family? It is hoped that after
completing this course a student of sociology will be able to relate population trends and policies with
society and social change.
This course aims at understanding of various linkages between population and society at various
levels: national, regional, village, household and individual. An attempt has been made to present
material in a manner that a graduate student of sociology can grasp the subject without difficulty. There
is only one module that requires some familiarity with statistics and basic mathematics. This is Chapter 4
on models. All other chapters are devoted to substantive issues. Questions given at the end of each
module would help the students in self evaluation.
Slide 2
POPULATION STUDIES AS A BRANCH OF SOCIAL SCIENCES
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Population studies is a branch of social sciences. Social sciences include sociology, economics,
psychology, political science and anthropology. Not only sociologists but economists, psychologists,
political scientists, anthropologists, and social historians have also contributed to development of theory
of population. Table 1.1, given in a following slide, shows some illustrative questions of interest to
different social scientists working in the field of population studies.
Economists are interested in economic aspects of demographic phenomena. They may use cost-
benefit approach to reproductive decision making or migration. Psychologists focus on individual
differences. Political scientists explain everything in terms of power and forms of state. Anthropologists
have been traditionally interested in culture of preliterate societies though these days they also study
urban and industrial organizations and examine belief systems, symbolic communication, patterns of
interaction and behaviour, and values. Social historians examine historical roots of population changes
and rise and fall of death rate, migration and nuptiality (marriage). Sociologists claim that they study
population variables in terms of social structure.
It may be said that in the field of population research sociologists are playing an increasing role. The
reasons are:
While other disciplines focus on one specific aspect of reality sociologists attempt to explain things
in a holistic perspective.
Sociologists have the advantage of freely borrowing concepts and methodologies from all other
branches of social sciences.
Sociologists are the first to venture into new areas as they are less constrained by disciplinary
limitations.
Sociologists who take whole society as the level of analysis are in a better position to explain
differences between different societies and cultures.
However, the entry of sociologists in the field of population is relatively new.
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Slide 3
In the beginning population research was dominated by
on estimation of rates and ratios from incomplete data. With improved data and survey as the main
method of research sociologists are playing a more important role than others in confronting the
challenging issues of our times.
BASIC CONCEPTS IN POPULATION STUDIES
In population studies scholars study size and composition of population. They also study various
processes through which size and composition of population chan
marriages
; reproduction or births;
(both within a country and between differen
stratification (primarily caused by
processes of population affect society and social institutions directly or through economic and
environmental factors.
FIGURE 1.1: LINKAGE BETWEEN POPULATION, ECONOMY AND SOCIETY
The term size refers to
the total number of people inhabiting an area.
classification of population
characteristics of population such as
the aegis of population distribution.
In the beginning population research was dominated by
statisticians and economists. The stress was
on estimation of rates and ratios from incomplete data. With improved data and survey as the main
method of research sociologists are playing a more important role than others in confronting the
BASIC CONCEPTS IN POPULATION STUDIES
In population studies scholars study size and composition of population. They also study various
processes through which size and composition of population chan
ge. The processes are: nuptiality or
; reproduction or births;
mortality or
deaths; migration of people from one place to another
(both within a country and between differen
t countries); and social mobility leading to changes in social
stratification (primarily caused by
changes in education, work and occupation
). Size, composition and
processes of population affect society and social institutions directly or through economic and
FIGURE 1.1: LINKAGE BETWEEN POPULATION, ECONOMY AND SOCIETY
the total number of people inhabiting an area.
according to characteristics like age, sex
and
marital status
characteristics of population such as
urban-
rural residence or geographical divis
the aegis of population distribution.
Population
SocietyEconomy
statisticians and economists. The stress was
on estimation of rates and ratios from incomplete data. With improved data and survey as the main
method of research sociologists are playing a more important role than others in confronting the
In population studies scholars study size and composition of population. They also study various
ge. The processes are: nuptiality or
deaths; migration of people from one place to another
t countries); and social mobility leading to changes in social
). Size, composition and
processes of population affect society and social institutions directly or through economic and
FIGURE 1.1: LINKAGE BETWEEN POPULATION, ECONOMY AND SOCIETY
the total number of people inhabiting an area.
Composition refers to
marital status
. Some specific
rural residence or geographical divis
ions are studied under
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Slide 4
TABLE 1.1: IMPORTANT QUESTIONS IN POPULATION STUDIES
Disciplin
e
Important questions
Sociology
1.
Are there religious differentials in fertility in India? What are the
causes behind them?
2. How does social stratification affect health inequality and quality of
life?
3. What role did the industrial revolution play in promoting rural to
urban migration?
Economics
1.
What are the short term and long term effects of population growth
on productivity and national income
2. What are costs and benefits of children in different types of
societies
3. Will the falling birth rate improve unemployment rate?
4. How does one assess the impact of population growth in urban or
rural areas?
Psychology
1.
What are all the
values of children?
2. What is the relationship between locus of control (i.e., attribution
of successes and failures to oneself or environment) and fertility
preferences?
3. What are social representations of health and illness among the
tribal communities?
4. How does one measure stigma against HIV/AIDS?
Political scientists
1.
How does empowerment of women help in reducing maternal
mortality ratio?
2. Is there a relationship between political structures and
demographic transition (i.e., changes in birth and death rates)?
Anthropologists
1.
Do cultural norms affect decision making regarding place of
delivery?
2. Did the kinship structure among primitive tribes affect their desire
to migrate?
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