SOC 391L • Basic Demographic Methods and Materials
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
This course provides a grounding in the principal techniques of demographic analysis together with an understanding of how mortality and fertility determine the growth and structure of human populations. Demographic methods and population dynamics are widely applied in sociology, economics, criminology, epidemiology, and public health--in almost every field where the growth and structure of population matters, or where there are duration dependent phenomena that are best handled with life table methodology.
You will learn to calculate demographic rates, construct a life table, and make population projections. Many of the classroom presentations and homework exercises will use Mathcad, a versatile and easy to learn computer program for working with formulas, numbers, text and graphs that is available in the lab in the Population Research Center. You may purchase a copy of Mathcad for your home computer from the Campus Computer Store ($20 under new campus wide license).
The text for this course is Demography: Measuring and Modeling Population Processes by Samuel Preston, Patrick Heuveline, and Michel Guillot (Malden, Mass.: Blackwell, 2001). In addition to chapters from this text, some journal articles will be assigned to complement the text, either as background, or as additional material. Slightly more accessible basic texts that correspond fairly well to the subject matter we will cover are Colin Newell's Methods and Models in Demography and Andrew Hinde's Demographic Methods which participants may wish to consult for an alternative presentation of some material. Starred items on the reading list are required.