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Robert Crosnoe, Chair CLA 3.306, Mailcode A1700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6300

Fall 2007

SOC 319 • Introduction to Social Demography

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
47620 TTh
3:30 PM-5:00 PM
WAG 101

Course Description

The course is divided into two main sections. The first section covers the basics of demography - population size, growth, composition and distribution; fertility; mortality; and migration, ending with a case study of the demography of China. The second part of the course looks at six social phenomena through a demographic lens. In other words, we'll learn how demographers look at the issues of poverty, family life, the environmental impact of population, urbanization, reproductive health and HIV/AIDS.

I consider the study of demographic issues as study of the "haves" and have nots, both between countries and within countries. That is, how do rich and poor countries or rich and poor people in the same country differ in average family size and composition, who dies when and from what, who moves, where and why, etc.? A primary objective of this course is to understand how different countries and different groups within the same country experience demographic phenomena.

Another primary objective of this course is give you the tools to become critical consumers of data. This course will provide a basic understanding of demographic measures and will require some basic math skills. By the end of the course, I hope that you will be able to better evaluate and critique population-based measures that you come across in the media and elsewhere.

Grading Policy

1. Three exams and a comprehensive final exam. The lowest score will be dropped. If you are happy with your grade at the end of the regular semester, you are not required to take the final exam. Or, if you miss an exam for whatever reason during the semester, you can make it up with the final. The exams will be a combination of multiple choice, and short/medium answer based on the readings and graphs, lectures/guest speakers, and videos. Each exam is a maximum of 100 points and counts 25% of your final grade.
2. Five In-class quizzes. Each quiz is worth a maximum of 10 points and are worth 12.5% of your grade.
3. Two homework assignments. Each homework assignment is a maximum of 25 points. Homework assignments are worth 12.5% of your grade.
4. Extra credit: There are two extra credit assignments that you can use to replace your lowest quiz scores.


8 Population Reference Bureau, Population Bulletins and the 2006 World Population Data Sheet. The PRB Bulletins are also available for download on the course web site.
Packet of photocopied readings.


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