Checking date: 15/08/2022

Course: 2022/2023

Contemporary theories and demographic challenges
Study: Bachelor in Sociology (208)


Department assigned to the subject: Social Analysis Department

Type: Compulsory
ECTS Credits: 6.0 ECTS


The main objective of this course is to become familiar with the relationship between population, natural resources and environment. The students will develop knowledge and abilities in looking for information using databases of different institutions like libraries, internet, public institutions and so on) They will be able to evaluate ecological and social costs and benefits (present and forthcoming). They will analyze the main concepts about human society. They will learn how to identify the relationship among different demographic phenomena in one side and social and economic reality and public policies in the other (causes and consequences of the decline of fertility, the aging of population and the migration processes among others).
Skills and learning outcomes
Description of contents: programme
The course examines the major theoretical explanations of demographic phenomena and the relationship between demographic trends, economic development, social change and the environment. The course will also cover the major ethical implications of population policies conducted in the past and present centuries: 1. The size and growth of world population and its spatial location 2. History of demographic theories 3. The pessimistic view of population growth 4. Neutral position on population growth 5. The optimistic view of population growth 6. The modern Malthusianism and it ties to environmentalist movements 7. Responses to environmental fears 8. Hunger and Population 9. Origins of the war against the population, eugenics and neo-eugenics 10. U.S. responsibility in global population control 11. Population control policies: China, India, Bangladesh 12. United Nations population control programs 13. Gender violence: female feticide 14. Orientations of the major religions on population and the environment 15. Ethical issues in human reproduction 16. Socio-economic consequences of international migration
Learning activities and methodology
The theoretical component is comprised of classes taught by lecturers, which will promote classroom discussion about the interplay between demographic processes and their causes and socioeconomic and cultural consequences (falling fertility, aging, immigration, etc.). The aim of the discussions is that students become aware of these interactions (this corresponds to 2 ECTS). The practical component of the course will be to familiarize students with the main sources of demographic information, including databases and Internet resources, readings and exhibitions, in order to enhance their abilities to conduct independent research. Students will also be trained on the design of tables and charts useful to describe and summarize demographic processes (this corresponds to 2 ECTS). Individual student work that is embodied in the study of the subject, attending tutorials, consulting texts and exams library will correspond to 2 ECTS.
Assessment System
  • % end-of-term-examination 60
  • % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals...) 40
Calendar of Continuous assessment
Basic Bibliography
  • Carter, G.. Population and Society: An Introduction. Polity. 2016
  • Fernando Manzano & Guillermo Velázquez. POBLACIÓN Y ECONOMÍA RECORRIDO HISTÓRICO DEL ESTADO DEL ARTE. Instituto de Geografía, Historia y Ciencias Sociales (IGEHCS) Universidad Nacional del Centro / CONICET. 2018
  • Norberg, Johan . Progreso. 10 razones para mirar al futuro con optimismo. Deusto. 2017
  • Pierre Desrochers, Joanna Szurmak . Population Bombed!: Exploding the Link Between Overpopulation and Climate Change. The Global Warming Policy Foundation. 2018
  • Poston, D. y Bouvier, L.. Population and Society An Introduction to Demography. Cambridge University Press . 2012
  • Steven Pinker y Pablo Hermida Lazcano . En defensa de la Ilustración: Por la razón, la ciencia, el humanismo y el progreso . Paidós. 2018
  • Sánchez Barricarte, Jesús Javier. El crecimiento de la población mundial: implicaciones socioeconómicas, ecológicas y éticas. Tirant lo Blanch. 2008
  • Sánchez Barricarte, Jesús Javier. Socioeconomía de las migraciones en un mundo globalizado. Biblioteca Nueva. 2010
  • United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Global Population Growth and Sustainable Development. UN DESA/POP/2021/TR/NO. 2.. Naciones Unidas. 2021
Additional Bibliography
  • Bailey, Ronald y Tupy, Marian L. . Ten Global Trends Every Smart Person Should Know: And Many Others You Will Find Interesting. ¿Cato Institute. 2020
  • Desrochers, Pierre and Szurmak, Joanna . Population Bombed!: Exploding the Link Between Overpopulation and Climate Change. The Global Warming Policy Foundation. 2018
  • EHRLICH, P. y EHRLICH, A.. La explosión demográfica. El principal problema ecológico. Barcelona: Salvat. 1994
  • FONDO DE POBLACIÓN DE LAS NACIONES UNIDAS. Estado de la población mundial. Nueva York: Naciones Unidas. 2008
  • GORE, A.. La Tierra en juego. Ecología y conciencia humana. Barcelona: Emecé Editores. 1993
  • GORE, A.. An inconvenient truth. The planetary emergency of global warming and what we can do about. Emmaus, Pa.: Rodale Press.. 2006
  • Huerta de Soto, Jesús. Socialism, Economic Calculation and Entrepreneurship. Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd. 2010
  • NACIONES UNIDAS. Crecimiento de la población y desarrollo económico, Cuadernos de la CEPAL nº 75. Santiago de Chile: Naciones Unidas.. 1996
  • Norberg, Johan . Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future. 2017. Oneworld Publications
  • Pinker, Steven . Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress. Hodder And Stoughton. 2018
  • REQUES VELASCO, P.. Población, recursos y medioambiente: ¿el fin de los mitos?. Santander: Servicio de publicaciones de la Universidad de Canta. 2001
  • Ridley, Matt . How Innovation Works: And Why It Flourishes in Freedom. Harper. 2020
  • Rosling, Hans; Rosling, Ola and Rönnlund, Anna Rosling. Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About The World - And Why Things Are Better Than You Think. Sceptre. 2018
  • SIMON, J.. El último recurso. Madrid: Dossat. 1986
  • Tupy, Marian L. and Pooley, Gale L. . Superabundance: The Story of Population Growth, Innovation, and Human Flourishing on an Infinitely Bountiful Planet. Cato Institute. 2022
  • Zamora Bonilla, Jesús . Contra apocalípticos. Shackleton books. 2021

The course syllabus may change due academic events or other reasons.