Chapter summary imageHigh population growth can lead to a scarcity of basic needs like food, water and shelter.

What is Demography?

the study of population size and composition.

What is Environmental Sociology?

a new sociological paradigm that evaluates how the environment influences society, and vice versa.

How Can Governments Control Populations?

they can promote or discourage fertility, create fertility policies, and implement tax deductions.

Theory

Functionalism

  • looks at what part a growing population plays in society
  • increases opportunities
  • growing populations increase demand on resources
  • humanity will not last if population is larger than the planet’s carrying capacity

Conflict Theory

  • Malthusian point of view: population will outgrow food availability
  • haves vs. have-nots will lead to war and discord
  • people must learn to adapt

Symbolic Interactionism

  • looks at how society affects population growth
  • culture shapes a society’s population
  • society’s attitude toward children affect birth rates
  • education of women, the use of birth control, and the delay of marriage result in fewer births and decreased population growth

Key Terms

Demography

is the study of population size and composition.

Demographic Variables

are variables such as population size, age, racial composition, birth rates, and death rates used to discuss populations.

Fertility Rate

is the number of births that occur in a population.

Crude Birth Rate

is the number of births for every 1,000 people each year.

Age-specific Birth Rate

is the number of births for every 1,000 women in a specific age group.

Total Fertility Rate (TFR)

is the average number of births expected from any woman in a population to bear in her lifetime.

Zero Population Growth

is a TFR of two, meaning that each woman has two children to replace the mother and the father.

Mortality Rate

is the number of deaths that occur in a population.

Crude Death Rate

is the number of deaths for every 1,000 people each year.

Age-specific Death Rate

is the number of deaths for every 1,000 persons of a given age group.

Infant Mortality Rate

is the number of children for every 1,000 born alive who die before they reach the age of one year.

Life Expectancy

is the average number of years a person is expected to live.

Lifespan

is the maximum length of time a person can possibly live.

Population Pyramids

are tools that visually represent data related to the age and sex of a country’s population.

Baby Boomers

are children born after WWII through the early 1960s.

Population Momentum

is a surge in growth due to a large number of people who are of birthing age.

Migration

is the movement of people from one area to another area.

Immigration

is the movement of people into a nation-state.

Emigration

is the movement of people out of a nation-state.

Push-pull or Neo-classical Migration Theory

suggests that migration depends on the supply and demand for labor, both in the sending area and the receiving one.

Rate of Natural Increase (RNI)

determines population growth and/or decline by subtracting the crude death rate from the crude birth rate and then dividing by 10.

Birth Dearth

is declining birth rates.

Doubling Time

refers to the number of years it takes for a population to double.

Malthusian Theorem

is a population projection that suggests the population will exceed the available food supply because populations grow at geometric rates, while food supplies grow at arithmetic rates.

Demographic Transition Theory

is a projection that suggests people control their own fertility as they move from agrarian to industrial societies.

Environmental Sociology

is the study of how the environment influences society, and vice versa.

Human Exemptionalism

is the belief that considers humans as being different from other species on earth.

Carrying Capacity

is the number of a specific species that can exist in a given environment.

Underpopulation

occurs when a species’ population lives under the carrying capacity, resulting in abundant resources.

Overpopulation

occurs when a species’ population lives beyond the carrying capacity, result- ing in too few resources.

Environmental Justice

is the impact of environmental factors on social classes.

Pro-natalist

means concerned with promoting population growth.

Anti-natalist

means concerned with limiting population growth.

Essay

1. Why doesn’t population growth generally affect the income and wealth of developed countries?

2. How do sociologists describe a population’s environmental footprint?

3. How can reducing one’s environmental footprint help reduce climate change and global warming?

4. Describe the arguments for and against anti-natalist policies such as China’s.

5. How do social factors affect birth rates?

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