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Flashcards in Urbanization, Population, Environment Deck (45)
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Environmental sustainability vs. capital accumulation

- env. sust: egree to which human activity can happen without damaging the ecology
- cap acc: gaining more capital
- these are competing logics in Canada


cancer cluster

area with proportionally high cancer rates (ex. near Alberta tar sands)


environmental sociologists (and their functionalist, critical, and symbolic interactionist viewpoints)

- study how humans interact with environments
- functionalists: primary way to survive is adapt to environment
- crit soc: interests that promote exploitation of natural resources for private profit have contributed to society's disequilibrium with environment
- sym it: looks at how peoples' attitudes to environments have changed, and how their practices (ie. recycling) have changed as a result of environmental concerns



- study of populations
- its 3 aspects: fertility, mortality, migration


fertility rate

- number of children born
- generally lower than fecundity number (potential amount of kids that could be born to women of childbearing age)
- crude birthrate: number of births per 1000 people per year


mortality rate

- number of people who die
- crude death rate: number of deaths per 1,000 people per year



- movement of people into and out of an area
- can be immigration (coming in) or emigration (leaving)


population composition is made up of

- made up of fertility, mortality, and migration rates -> creates demographic profile of a population
- includes sex ratio (number of men for every 100 women)
- includes population pyramid (population distribution by sex and age)


4 theories about population

- Malthusian
- zero population growth
- cornucopian
- demographic transition


positive checks vs. preventative checks

- Positive checks: increase mortality rate and create suffering and misery (ex. War, pestilence, famine)
- Preventative checks: decrease birth rate and create vice (ex. abortion, infanticide, prostitution)
- Malthus didn't agree with any of these options


cornucopian theory

- humans won't be wiped out -> we can resolve any environmental and social issues that develop
- ex. if food is scarce, we'll figure out how to grow more


demographic transition theory

- population growth will develop along 4 stage model


staple thesis

- Proposed by Harold Innis (1894-1952)
- Suggested that Canada was founded upon staple industries established to export to empire societies such as US and England -> Staples include fisheries, lumbering, mining, etc. ("primary industries" -> related to raw material extraction)
- Canada is composed of resource-based communities centering around primary industries to meet the needs of industrialized nations -> These communities are also very vulnerable as they are dependent on other places that want their resources
- Explains the emergence of Canada's regionalized economy and cultural ties to Europe and the US


implications of staple thesis

- Foreign ownership: much of the capital and technology for resource extraction comes from core nations
- Market vulnerability: resource-based economies depend on a large blue collar workforce and lacks employment diversification; ultimately vulnerable to market demands of other countries
- Losing autonomy: allows room for cultural penetration (ie. From the US)


demographic equation

- Note: Pop t+1 means "population in the future"
- Pop t+1 + Natural increase + net migration = population change
- Pop t+1 + (Births – deaths) + (immigration – emigration) = population change
- Note: often measured as a rate per capita


birth rate and total fertility rate

- Birth rate = number of live births per 1000
- Total fertility rate = average children per woman (2.1 is the average needed to sustain the population -> Canada is below this at about 1.6)


death rate and infant mortality rate

- Death rate = number of deaths per 1000
- Infant mortality rate = number of deaths of infant < 1yr per 1,000 live births


what's death rate related to?

- general health/condition of the population
- Prevalence: total number of case/disease
- Incidence: new cases of a specific disease


life expectacy

- median number of years a person is expected to live under current conditions ("current conditions" meaning no war, no natural disasters, etc.)
- Within the same country, LE is different depending on social position (class, gender, and race)


what's infant mortality rate linked to?

- society's level of healthcare -> Level of nutrition -> Scope of medical care (degree of expertise) -> Availability of pre/post-natal care
- Largely correlated with level of socio-economic development


Malthus' thesis

- People need to eat and have sex
- Malthus argues that food supply increases in linear progression, whereas population expands by exponential progression
- The world's population was growing more rapidly than the available food supply
- Material growth produces much "misery and vice"


Malthus's suggestions

- 2 forces can control population: preventative checks and positive checks
- To avoid vice and suffering, Malthus saw population control as an answer. He argued that couples must take responsibility for the number of children they choose to bear.
- To avoid overpopulation, welfare should be eliminated since it encourages the poor to have more children -> however, this logic was flawed -> he was basically saying that people want to have kids so that they'll get welfare checks, which isn't true


Malthusian trap

- Cycles of population growth are often followed by outbreaks of war, pestilence, and famine that keeps population in check
- Every population has an upper limit, and anything beyond that limit will create social problems


Marx's response to Malthus

- Marx saw no special relationship between population and supply of resources
- If society was well ordered, increases in population should lead to greater wealth, not hunger and misery
- Social problem is linked not to overpopulation, but to unequal distribution of resources; suffering and injustice can exist even when population limit is not reached


Critiques against Malthus

- Technological advances have allowed rapid growth in how much food is produced, opposite of the slow growth scenario Malthus predicted
- Contraceptive devices and technologies have allowed people to control the consequences of sex; preventive checks are not necessary condition for vice
- Theory do not always fit the data; some regions of the world have experienced rapid growth and yet has become some of the most properous regions of the world (ie. Europe)
- Welfare does not encourage people to have more children; low fertility rates of often found in countries with generous welfare programs (ex. Canada, Sweden, etc.)


demographic transition

- Describes how society's population changes over time (general trend, not a law or formula)
- Focuses on change from (high birth rates and death rates) to relatively (low birth rates and death rates)
- A process that describes industrialized nations
- Typically viewed as a 3-stage process: pre-transition stage, transition stage, post-transition stage


pre-transition stage

- a lot of people giving birth and a lot of people dying (ex. 19th century North America)
- High death rate due to:
-- Famine (no food, failed harvest)
-- Poor medical knowledge and treatment of diseases
-- Poor sanitation
- High birth rate due to:
-- Many die at a young age -> need replacement
-- Many children needed for farming
-- No family planning


transition stage

- where you see the population boom -> lots of people give birth, but not a lot of people die (ex. Afghanistan)
- Low death rate due to:
-- Improved food supply
-- Improved medical knowledge
-- Improved sanitation
- High birth rate due to:
-- Less kids die at young ages due to improved medical care
-- Children still needed for farming (but less)
-- Some family planning


post-transition stage

- low birth and death rate (ex. Mexico)
- Low death rate due to:
-- Steady food supply
-- Good medical care
-- Sanitary environment (due to refrigerator)
- Low birth rate due to:
-- Children no longer needed for income generation
-- Delayed marriage and fertility due to level of education
-- Family planning


population pyramid

- Tool used to describe a population by age and gender
- Like a snapshot of society
- can be used to make predictions re: population change