NCERT Textbook - Demographic Structure and Indian Society Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

Sociology Class 12

Created by: Uk Tiwary

Humanities/Arts : NCERT Textbook - Demographic Structure and Indian Society Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


2015-16
Page 2


2015-16
Indian Society
10
        emography is the systematic study of population. The term is of Greek origin
and is composed of the two words, demos (people) and graphein (describe),
implying the description of people.  Demography studies the trends and processes
associated with population including – changes in population size; patterns of
births, deaths, and migration; and the structure and composition of the
population, such as the relative proportions of women, men and different age
groups. There are different varieties of demography, including formal
demography which is a largely quantitative field, and social demography which
focuses on the social, economic or political aspects of populations. All
demographic studies are based on processes of counting or enumeration – such
as the census or the survey – which involve the systematic collection of data on
the people residing within a specified territory.
Demography is a field that is of special importance to sociology – in fact, the
emergence of sociology and its successful establishment as an academic
discipline owed a lot to demography.  Two different processes happened to take
place at roughly the same time in Europe during the latter half of the eighteenth
century – the formation of nation-states as the principal form of political
organisation, and the beginnings of the modern science of statistics.  The modern
state had begun to expand its role and functions.  It had, for instance, begun to
take an active interest in the development of early forms of public health
management, policing and maintenance of law and order, economic policies
relating to agriculture and industry, taxation and revenue generation and the
governance of cities.
This new and constantly expanding sphere of state activity required the
systematic and regular collection of social statistics – or quantitative data on
various aspects of the population and economy.  The practice of the collection
of social statistics by the state is in itself much older, but it acquired its modern
form towards the end of the eighteenth century.  The American census of 1790
was probably the first modern census, and the practice was soon taken up in
Europe as well in the early 1800s.  In India, censuses began to be conducted by
the British Indian government between 1867-72, and regular ten yearly (or
decennial) censuses have been conducted since 1881.  Independent India
continued the practice, and seven decennial censuses have been conducted since
1951, the most recent being in 2011.  The Indian census is the largest such
exercise in the world (since China, which has a slightly larger population, does
not conduct regular censuses).
Demographic data are important for the planning and implementation of
state policies, specially those for economic development and general public
welfare.  But when they first emerged, social statistics also provided a strong
justification for the new discipline of sociology. Aggregate statistics – or the
numerical characteristics that refer to a large collectivity consisting of millions
of people – offer a concrete and strong argument for the existence of social
phenomena.  Even though country-level or state-level statistics like the number
D
2015-16
Page 3


2015-16
Indian Society
10
        emography is the systematic study of population. The term is of Greek origin
and is composed of the two words, demos (people) and graphein (describe),
implying the description of people.  Demography studies the trends and processes
associated with population including – changes in population size; patterns of
births, deaths, and migration; and the structure and composition of the
population, such as the relative proportions of women, men and different age
groups. There are different varieties of demography, including formal
demography which is a largely quantitative field, and social demography which
focuses on the social, economic or political aspects of populations. All
demographic studies are based on processes of counting or enumeration – such
as the census or the survey – which involve the systematic collection of data on
the people residing within a specified territory.
Demography is a field that is of special importance to sociology – in fact, the
emergence of sociology and its successful establishment as an academic
discipline owed a lot to demography.  Two different processes happened to take
place at roughly the same time in Europe during the latter half of the eighteenth
century – the formation of nation-states as the principal form of political
organisation, and the beginnings of the modern science of statistics.  The modern
state had begun to expand its role and functions.  It had, for instance, begun to
take an active interest in the development of early forms of public health
management, policing and maintenance of law and order, economic policies
relating to agriculture and industry, taxation and revenue generation and the
governance of cities.
This new and constantly expanding sphere of state activity required the
systematic and regular collection of social statistics – or quantitative data on
various aspects of the population and economy.  The practice of the collection
of social statistics by the state is in itself much older, but it acquired its modern
form towards the end of the eighteenth century.  The American census of 1790
was probably the first modern census, and the practice was soon taken up in
Europe as well in the early 1800s.  In India, censuses began to be conducted by
the British Indian government between 1867-72, and regular ten yearly (or
decennial) censuses have been conducted since 1881.  Independent India
continued the practice, and seven decennial censuses have been conducted since
1951, the most recent being in 2011.  The Indian census is the largest such
exercise in the world (since China, which has a slightly larger population, does
not conduct regular censuses).
Demographic data are important for the planning and implementation of
state policies, specially those for economic development and general public
welfare.  But when they first emerged, social statistics also provided a strong
justification for the new discipline of sociology. Aggregate statistics – or the
numerical characteristics that refer to a large collectivity consisting of millions
of people – offer a concrete and strong argument for the existence of social
phenomena.  Even though country-level or state-level statistics like the number
D
2015-16
The Demographic Structure of the Indian Society
11 11
2015-16
Page 4


2015-16
Indian Society
10
        emography is the systematic study of population. The term is of Greek origin
and is composed of the two words, demos (people) and graphein (describe),
implying the description of people.  Demography studies the trends and processes
associated with population including – changes in population size; patterns of
births, deaths, and migration; and the structure and composition of the
population, such as the relative proportions of women, men and different age
groups. There are different varieties of demography, including formal
demography which is a largely quantitative field, and social demography which
focuses on the social, economic or political aspects of populations. All
demographic studies are based on processes of counting or enumeration – such
as the census or the survey – which involve the systematic collection of data on
the people residing within a specified territory.
Demography is a field that is of special importance to sociology – in fact, the
emergence of sociology and its successful establishment as an academic
discipline owed a lot to demography.  Two different processes happened to take
place at roughly the same time in Europe during the latter half of the eighteenth
century – the formation of nation-states as the principal form of political
organisation, and the beginnings of the modern science of statistics.  The modern
state had begun to expand its role and functions.  It had, for instance, begun to
take an active interest in the development of early forms of public health
management, policing and maintenance of law and order, economic policies
relating to agriculture and industry, taxation and revenue generation and the
governance of cities.
This new and constantly expanding sphere of state activity required the
systematic and regular collection of social statistics – or quantitative data on
various aspects of the population and economy.  The practice of the collection
of social statistics by the state is in itself much older, but it acquired its modern
form towards the end of the eighteenth century.  The American census of 1790
was probably the first modern census, and the practice was soon taken up in
Europe as well in the early 1800s.  In India, censuses began to be conducted by
the British Indian government between 1867-72, and regular ten yearly (or
decennial) censuses have been conducted since 1881.  Independent India
continued the practice, and seven decennial censuses have been conducted since
1951, the most recent being in 2011.  The Indian census is the largest such
exercise in the world (since China, which has a slightly larger population, does
not conduct regular censuses).
Demographic data are important for the planning and implementation of
state policies, specially those for economic development and general public
welfare.  But when they first emerged, social statistics also provided a strong
justification for the new discipline of sociology. Aggregate statistics – or the
numerical characteristics that refer to a large collectivity consisting of millions
of people – offer a concrete and strong argument for the existence of social
phenomena.  Even though country-level or state-level statistics like the number
D
2015-16
The Demographic Structure of the Indian Society
11 11
2015-16
Indian Society
12
of deaths per 1,000 population – or the death rate – are made up by aggregating
(or adding up) individual deaths, the death rate itself is a social phenomenon
and must be explained at the social level.  Emile Durkheim’s famous study
explaining the variation in suicide rates across different countries was a good
example of this. Durkheim argued that the rate of suicide (i.e., number of suicides
per 100,000 population) had to be explained by social causes even though each
particular instance of suicide may have involved reasons specific to that
individual or her/his circumstances.
Sometimes a distinction is made between formal demography and a broader
field of population studies. Formal demography is primarily concerned with the
measurement and analysis of the components of population change.  Its focus
is on quantitative analysis for which it has a highly developed mathematical
methodology suitable for forecasting population growth and changes in the
composition of population.  Population studies or social demography, on the
other hand, enquires into the wider causes and consequences of population
structures and change.  Social demographers believe that social processes and
structures regulate demographic processes; like sociologists, they seek to trace
the social reasons that account for population trends.
2.1 SOME THEORIES AND CONCEPTS IN DEMOGRAPHY
THE MALTHUSIAN THEORY OF POPULATION GROWTH
Among the most famous theories of demography is the one associated with the
English political economist Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834).  Malthus’s
theory of population growth – outlined in his Essay on Population (1798) – was
a rather pessimistic one.  He argued that human populations tend to grow at a
much faster rate than the rate at which the means of human subsistence
(specially food, but also clothing and other agriculture-based products) can
grow.  Therefore humanity is condemned to live in poverty forever because the
growth of agricultural production will always be overtaken by population growth.
While population rises in geometric progression (i.e., like 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 etc.),
agricultural production can only grow in arithmetic progression  (i.e., like 2,
4, 6, 8, 10 etc.). Because population growth always outstrips growth in
production of subsistence resources, the only way to increase prosperity is by
controlling the growth of population.  Unfortunately, humanity has only a limited
ability to voluntarily reduce the growth of its population (through ‘preventive
checks’ such as postponing marriage or practicing sexual abstinence or celibacy).
Malthus believed therefore that ‘positive checks’ to population growth – in the
form of famines and diseases – were inevitable because they were nature’s way
of dealing with the imbalance between food supply and increasing population.
Malthus’s theory was influential for a long time.  But it was also challenged
by theorists who claimed that economic growth could outstrip population growth.
12
2015-16
Page 5


2015-16
Indian Society
10
        emography is the systematic study of population. The term is of Greek origin
and is composed of the two words, demos (people) and graphein (describe),
implying the description of people.  Demography studies the trends and processes
associated with population including – changes in population size; patterns of
births, deaths, and migration; and the structure and composition of the
population, such as the relative proportions of women, men and different age
groups. There are different varieties of demography, including formal
demography which is a largely quantitative field, and social demography which
focuses on the social, economic or political aspects of populations. All
demographic studies are based on processes of counting or enumeration – such
as the census or the survey – which involve the systematic collection of data on
the people residing within a specified territory.
Demography is a field that is of special importance to sociology – in fact, the
emergence of sociology and its successful establishment as an academic
discipline owed a lot to demography.  Two different processes happened to take
place at roughly the same time in Europe during the latter half of the eighteenth
century – the formation of nation-states as the principal form of political
organisation, and the beginnings of the modern science of statistics.  The modern
state had begun to expand its role and functions.  It had, for instance, begun to
take an active interest in the development of early forms of public health
management, policing and maintenance of law and order, economic policies
relating to agriculture and industry, taxation and revenue generation and the
governance of cities.
This new and constantly expanding sphere of state activity required the
systematic and regular collection of social statistics – or quantitative data on
various aspects of the population and economy.  The practice of the collection
of social statistics by the state is in itself much older, but it acquired its modern
form towards the end of the eighteenth century.  The American census of 1790
was probably the first modern census, and the practice was soon taken up in
Europe as well in the early 1800s.  In India, censuses began to be conducted by
the British Indian government between 1867-72, and regular ten yearly (or
decennial) censuses have been conducted since 1881.  Independent India
continued the practice, and seven decennial censuses have been conducted since
1951, the most recent being in 2011.  The Indian census is the largest such
exercise in the world (since China, which has a slightly larger population, does
not conduct regular censuses).
Demographic data are important for the planning and implementation of
state policies, specially those for economic development and general public
welfare.  But when they first emerged, social statistics also provided a strong
justification for the new discipline of sociology. Aggregate statistics – or the
numerical characteristics that refer to a large collectivity consisting of millions
of people – offer a concrete and strong argument for the existence of social
phenomena.  Even though country-level or state-level statistics like the number
D
2015-16
The Demographic Structure of the Indian Society
11 11
2015-16
Indian Society
12
of deaths per 1,000 population – or the death rate – are made up by aggregating
(or adding up) individual deaths, the death rate itself is a social phenomenon
and must be explained at the social level.  Emile Durkheim’s famous study
explaining the variation in suicide rates across different countries was a good
example of this. Durkheim argued that the rate of suicide (i.e., number of suicides
per 100,000 population) had to be explained by social causes even though each
particular instance of suicide may have involved reasons specific to that
individual or her/his circumstances.
Sometimes a distinction is made between formal demography and a broader
field of population studies. Formal demography is primarily concerned with the
measurement and analysis of the components of population change.  Its focus
is on quantitative analysis for which it has a highly developed mathematical
methodology suitable for forecasting population growth and changes in the
composition of population.  Population studies or social demography, on the
other hand, enquires into the wider causes and consequences of population
structures and change.  Social demographers believe that social processes and
structures regulate demographic processes; like sociologists, they seek to trace
the social reasons that account for population trends.
2.1 SOME THEORIES AND CONCEPTS IN DEMOGRAPHY
THE MALTHUSIAN THEORY OF POPULATION GROWTH
Among the most famous theories of demography is the one associated with the
English political economist Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834).  Malthus’s
theory of population growth – outlined in his Essay on Population (1798) – was
a rather pessimistic one.  He argued that human populations tend to grow at a
much faster rate than the rate at which the means of human subsistence
(specially food, but also clothing and other agriculture-based products) can
grow.  Therefore humanity is condemned to live in poverty forever because the
growth of agricultural production will always be overtaken by population growth.
While population rises in geometric progression (i.e., like 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 etc.),
agricultural production can only grow in arithmetic progression  (i.e., like 2,
4, 6, 8, 10 etc.). Because population growth always outstrips growth in
production of subsistence resources, the only way to increase prosperity is by
controlling the growth of population.  Unfortunately, humanity has only a limited
ability to voluntarily reduce the growth of its population (through ‘preventive
checks’ such as postponing marriage or practicing sexual abstinence or celibacy).
Malthus believed therefore that ‘positive checks’ to population growth – in the
form of famines and diseases – were inevitable because they were nature’s way
of dealing with the imbalance between food supply and increasing population.
Malthus’s theory was influential for a long time.  But it was also challenged
by theorists who claimed that economic growth could outstrip population growth.
12
2015-16
The Demographic Structure of the Indian Society
13
However, the most effective refutation of his theory was
provided by the historical experience of European countries.
The pattern of population growth began to change in the
latter half of nineteenth century, and by the end of the first
quarter of the twentieth century these changes were quite
dramatic.  Birth rates had declined, and outbreaks of
epidemic diseases were being controlled.  Malthus’s
predictions were proved false because both food production
and standards of living continued to rise despite the rapid
growth of population.
Malthus was also criticised by liberal and Marxist
scholars for asserting that poverty was caused by population growth.  The
critics argued that problems like poverty and starvation were caused by the
unequal distribution of economic resources rather than by population growth.
An unjust social system allowed a wealthy and privileged minority to live in
luxury while the vast majority of the people were forced to live in poverty.
THE THEORY OF DEMOGRAPHIC TRANSITION
Another significant theory in demography is the theory of demographic transition.
This suggests that population growth is linked to overall levels of economic
development and that every society follows a typical pattern of development-
related population growth.  There are three basic phases of population growth.
The first stage is that of low population growth in a society that is underdeveloped
and technologically backward.  Growth rates are low because both the death
rate and the birth rate are very high, so that the difference between the two (or
the net growth rate) is low.  The third (and last) stage is also one of low growth
in a developed society where both death rate and birth rate have been reduced
BOX 2.1
“The power of population is so superior to
the power of the earth to produce
subsistence for man, that premature death
must in some shape or other visit the human race.
The vices of mankind are active and able ministers of
depopulation. They are the precursors in the great
army of destruction, and often finish the dreadful work
themselves. But should they fail in this war of
extermination, sickly seasons, epidemics, pestilence,
and plague advance in terrific array, and sweep off
their thousands and tens of thousands. Should success
be still incomplete, gigantic inevitable famine stalks
in the rear, and with one mighty blow levels the
population with the food of the world.”
–  Thomas Robert Malthus, An essay on the
principle of population, 1798.
Malthus studied at Cambridge
and trained to become a
Christian  priest.  Later he was
appointed Professor of History
and Political Economy at the
East India Company College
at Haileybury near London,
which was a training centre
for the officers recruited to the
Indian Civil Service.
Thomas Robert Malthus
(1766-1834)
2015-16
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