Scholars understand demography through various analyses. Malthusian, zero population growth, cornucopian theory, and demographic transition theories all help sociologists study demography. The earth s human population is growing quickly, especially in peripheral countries. Factors that impact population include birthrates, mortality rates, and migration, including immigration and emigration. There are numerous potential outcomes of the growing population, and sociological perspectives vary on the potential effect of these increased numbers. The growth will pressure the already taxed planet and its natural resources. Chapter 20 | Population, Urbanization, and the Environment 467
Cities provide numerous opportunities for their residents and offer significant benefits including access to goods to numerous job opportunities. At the same time, high population areas can lead to tensions between demographic groups, as well as environmental strain. While the population of urban dwellers is continuing to rise, sources of social strain are rising along with it. The ultimate challenge for today s urbanites is finding an equitable way to share the city s resources while reducing the pollution and energy use that negatively impacts the environment.
The area of environmental sociology is growing as extreme weather patterns and concerns over climate change increase. Human activity leads to pollution of soil, water, and air, compromising the health of the entire food chain. While everyone is at risk, poor and disadvantaged neighborhoods and nations bear a greater burden of the planet s pollution, a dynamic known as environmental racism.
Section 20.1 Demography and Population
Zero Population Growth
Demographic Transition Theory
Changes in U.S. Immigration Patterns and Attitudes
Section 20.2 Urbanization
The Growth of Cities
Urbanization in the United States
Suburbs and Exurbs
Urbanization around the World
Theoretical Perspectives on Urbanization
Section 20.3 Theoretical Perspectives
Toxic and Radioactive Waste