Demographics and Population Processes

Many of the important challenges that our communities face today, from the persistent racial and ethnic disparities and human rights violations, to climate change and community resiliency issues, and opioids crises and healthcare coverage, are related to demographics and population processes. This course offers an introduction to the substantive areas of inquiry in demographic research -at the intersection of sociological, community, and population research- to understand the causes and consequences of demographic changes in communities. Understanding these demographic concepts can help students integrate a socio-ecological perspective into the study of communities’ social, economic, environmental, and political issues.

Course objectives and outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:
Understand population processes and apply relevant concepts and measures into community decision-making, design, and planning.
Use key concepts related to demographics and population processes to describe a population.
Describe how demographic patterns are intertwined with health and environment.
Identify sources of demographic data.

Course format
This course is a seminar. Class meetings will entail discussion and the exchange of ideas by individuals who have read the assigned materials and thought about the topic at hand, as well as occasional (and limited) lecturing by the instructor.

Method of evaluation
Class attendance and participation (30%)
Weekly discussion questions (20%)
Discussion leadership (30%)
Critical essay (20%)

This course will meet on alternate weeks throughout the term.