Sociology 342                                                                                                             Dr. Hardt

Social Demography                                                                                                  MSU-Billings

MWF 12:30-1:30                                                                                                         Fall, 2009


Office: LA 814

Office phone: 657-2991

Office hours:   MWF 11:45-12:45

                         TTH 12:15-1:15

                        and by appointment



web page:


Text: Demography: The Science of Population.  Jay Weinstein and Vijayan K. Pillai.  Allyn and

           Bacon.  2001.

         Demographics: A Guide to Methods and Data Sources for Media, Business, and Government.  Steve H. Murdock, et al.  Paradigm Publishers.  2006.


            The course will provide a rigorous introduction to the field of demography and population analysis.  Students will be introduced to the basic components of population change.  As an introductory course it can be expected that there will be a focus both on theory and methods.


            The theoretical aspect will include general historical and contemporary demographic theory.  Also, the more particular theoretical frameworks of the components of population change will be elaborated.  Since the field will be new to most or all students, care will be taken to define and apply the concepts being introduced.


            Students will also be introduced to basic demographic measures.  The methodological aspect of the course assumes no high level statistical background.  If you can add, subtract, multiply, and divide, then the formulas introduced and utilized should provide you little trouble.  Nevertheless, by the end of the semester students will be able to work their way through a wide range of demographic measures, from those as simple as a crude birth or death rate to those as complex as the construction of a life table.  By the end of the course students will be familiar with the development of demography and theories of population components.  You will also be familiar with important sources of demographic data, and will have the ability to execute basic demographic measures and interpret demographic information.


            The format of the course includes class participation, reading assignments, a term project, and exams.  In addition, you will be assigned demographic exercises.  These exercises will introduce you to demographic measurements and will be applied to a local population.  Due dates for these will be established during the semester, in accordance with the level of progress established by the class.  Your term project will involve an analysis of a demographic issue that you apply to counties in the state of Montana.  Details of this project will be provided in class.  Because this course does involve computer work for exercises and the term project, the class will meet rather frequently in the computer room of the library.  These days will be announced in class.  As a consequence, the following schedule is not firmly established.  Exams, project outline, and other course material will be posted on my web page as needed.  For a description of the project, click here. For a template of the tables to be used for the term project, click here.  Copy these and format it so each table is a single page.


       It is strongly suggested that you try to keep current with the reading, since they will often be integrated into lecture and class discussion.  I will notify you of any changes that may occur.  Each exam and the term project are worth 100 points.  Point totals will vary for the class projects.  Grading is as follows: A90%-100% of total; B80%-89% of point total; C70%-79% of point total; D60%-69% of point total; Fless than 60% of point total.  Note that I use the plus and minus system for grading.  Failure to participate in class discussion will mean a loss of as much as 25 percent of the total points toward your final grade.  


            Students who require accommodations for disabilities are requested to make arrangements to discuss these with me during my regular office hours.


Course outline and reading schedule




               9         Introduction to the course

        11-14         Introduction to the field of demography.  Ch. 1; Ch. 2, pp. 23-27.

        16-18         Demographic data.  Ch. 2, pp. 27-52; Ch. 13.  Murdock, et al.  Chs. 1, 2, 4, & 5.

        21-30         Demographic perspectives.






            2-9       Population history and Demographic Transition Theory.  Ch. 8.           1-6       Population structure.  Ch. 3.

            12       EXAM 

        14-19       Population Structure.  Ch.. 3.

        21-26       Mortality and the Epidemiological Transition Theory.  Ch. 6, Ch. 9.

        28-30       Fertility, Concepts, measures, and trends.  Ch. 5.




           2-9       Fertility, Concepts, measures, and trends.  Ch. 5.

            11        Veterans Day.  Class Cancelled.

       13-16       Population and life chances.

            18       EXAM.

       20-23       Migration. Ch. 7.

       25-27      Thanksgiving break  Classes cancelled.




           2-4        Migration, continued.

              7        Population projection.  Ch. 11.

         9-11       Urbanization.  Ch. 4

            14        FINAL EXAM: 8:00-9:50.