SOC 430 - World Population Dynamics
Fall 2021, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Sociology (SOC)
Department: LSA Sociology
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Requirements & Distribution:
Credit Exclusions:
No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in SOC 530.
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


This course examines the major population processes: mortality, fertility, and migration. It is an introduction to the technical and substantive aspects of demography – the study of the growth and structure of human populations. The main focus is on substantive aspects. Technical and methodological material is examined with a view to students understanding the meaning and interpretation of the measures discussed but without detailed mathematical examination of the measures and methods. Methodological aspects of the study of the population are the focus of Sociology 630: Research Methods in Population and Human Ecology, which will be taught in Winter 2019. Usually, at least one undergraduate who has taken Sociology 430 takes Sociology 630. These undergraduates have usually done very well in Sociology 630.

If you look at the size of the population of a geographic area at two points in time, people are added to that population through births and migrants into the area; people are removed from that population through deaths and migrants out of the area. The study of the determinants of the basic population processes of mortality, fertility, and migration is, thus, the study of the determinants of population growth and decline.

There are large differences throughout the world in the rate of population growth and in the level of fertility and mortality. The way fertility, mortality, and migration interrelate to result in population growth is important as a background for understanding many social, economic, and political issues. Students will be introduced to demographic measures of each of these processes and how to interpret these measures. How to calculate these measures will also be discussed, although students will not be expected to do complex calculations. The ability to read and understand tables and graphs is essential. Major theoretical perspectives about population change and empirical patterns of population change will be discussed.

After taking the course, a student should be able to read an article in a newspaper or magazine that deals with population issues and understand what the issue is about. The student should also have acquired the knowledge and critical perspective to be able to assess the likely validity of the article and what possible problems or additional considerations might be. After the course, a student will be familiar with the major theoretical perspectives on various demographic processes and what the main scholarly and policy controversies are in each area. A student will also be prepared to take more advanced or specialized courses related to the population.

SOC 430 is offered as a meet-together with SOC 530. Undergraduates should enroll in 430 and graduate students should enroll in 530.


SOC 430 - World Population Dynamics
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM

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