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Course Co-ordinated by IIT Kanpur
Prof. A.K. Sharma
IIT Kanpur


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This course proposes to discuss the relationship between social processes and demographic transition in India.

Therefore, it focuses on introducing the tools and techniques of social demography,Indian data on demographic trends, and theories propounded to explain the available data.

It is expected that after doing this course the students would be familiar with the basic techniques, data and theories of social demography and will be well equipped to take up advanced studies in a selected field of population studies as a subfield of sociology. Specifically it focuses on the following:

  1. Introduction.

  2. Basic characteristics of Indian society.

  3. Research methods in population studies.

  4. Demographic models.

  5. History of world population growth and its impact on society.

  6. Population of India.

  7. Urbanization and development.

  8. Population theories.

  9. Population policy and family planning programmes.

  10. National population policy in India.

  11. Ecological degradation and environmental pollution.

  12. Emerging issues in sociology of population.



Topics and Contents

No. of Lectures



  • Population studies as a branch of social sciences. Basic concepts in population studies. Relationship between population and society.

  • Sociological approaches to population. Quantitative and qualitative studies of population. Size, growth, composition and distribution of population.



Basic characteristics of Indian society:

  • Society and culture of India. Structure of Indian society. Sanskritization and Westernization. Dilemmas of development and modernization.



Research methods in population studies:

  • Primary and secondary data. Quantitative data. Introduction to census, national sample survey, RCH surveys, DLHS and SRS. Analytical approaches.

  • Qualitative data. Interview, observation and focus group discussion methods.Measures of fertility, morbidity, mortality, migration.



Demographic models:

  • Mathematical and statistical modeling. History of demographic models. Contemporary issues.

  • Limitations of mathematical and statistical models.



History of world population growth and its impact on society:

  • Population in ancient times. Demographic transition. Population in early Twentieth century.

  • Demographic schism between developed and developing countries. Future prospects.



Population of India:

  • Phases of population growth in India. Post-independence population explosion.

  • Its impact on society and economy. Recent trends. Future prospects.



Urbanization and development:

  • Definition of urbanization. Measurements of urbanization. Theories of urbanization and development. Urbanization in India.



Population theories:

  • Demographic transition theory. Malthusian and Marxian theories of population. Daly’s synthesis. Optimum population theory.

  • Threshold hypothesis. Gandhian theory.  Hardin’s concept of space ship and its implications.



Population policy and family planning programmes:

  • Population policy. Prenatal and antenatal policies. Effectiveness of population policies.

  • Family planning programme and beyond family planning measures to control fertility.



National population policy:

  • Family planning programme in India. Gandhian approach. Clinical approach. Extension education. Mass vasectomy camps.

  • Population policy statement by Dr. Karan Singh. Revision by Janata Party. National Population Policy (NPP) 2000. Critical evaluation of NPP.



Ecological degradation and environmental pollution:

  • Population as a component of ecology. Environment impact assessment. Population and environment. Envirnomental beliefs.



Emerging issues in sociology of population:

  • The framework of Millennium Development Goals. Reproductive and child health.

  • Gender inequalities and empowerment of women. Reducing maternal mortality.


Total number of lectures



  1. Bhende, Asha, and Tara Kanitkar, 1994, Priniciples of Population Studies. Mumbai: Himalayan Publishing House.

  2. Bose, Ashish, From Population to People, 1988. Delhi: B.R. Publishing Corporation.

  3. Coale, Ansley, J., and Hoover, Edgar M., 1958, Population Growth and Economic Development in Low-Income Countries. Princeton, Princeton University Press.

  4. Haq, Ehsanul, Sociology of Population in India. New Delhi: Macmillan, 2007.

  5. Misra, B. D., 1980, An Introduction to the Study of Population. New Delhi: South Asian Publishers Pvt. Ltd.

  6. Shryock, Henry S., Siegel, Jacob S., and associates, 1971, The Methods and Materials of Demography. New York: U.S. Bureau of Census.

  7. United Nations, 1973, The Determinants and Consequences of Population Trends, Vol. I. New York: United Nations.









  9. Development_(AHD)_SHAHN_End_Term_Report_2005.pdf.


  11. task=doc_download&gid=58&Itemid=157.

  1. Alho, Juha M., and Spencer, Bruce D., 2005. Statistical Demography and Forecasting. New York: Springer.

  2. Brass, W., 1979, Screening procedures for detecting errors in maternity history data. In: United Nations, Regional Workshop on Techniques of Analysis of World Fertility Survey Data, Asian Population Studies Series No. 44, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, United Nations.

  3. Halli, Shiva S., and Rao, K. Vanandha, 1992, Advanced Techniques of Population Analysis. New York: Plenum Press.

  4. Hardin, Garrett, 1999, The Ostrich Factor: Our Population Myopia, Oxford University Press, 87.

  5. Keyfitz, Nathan, 1968, Introduction to the Mathematics of Population. London: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company.

  6. Keyfitz, Nathan, 1975, How do we know the facts of demography? Population and Development Review, 1(2): 267-288.

  7. Keyfitz, Nathan, and Hal, Caswell, 2005, Applied Mathematical Demography, 3rd edition. New York: Springer.

  8. Mukerjee, Radhakamal, 1941, Population Theory and Politics. American Sociological Review.  [ accessed on 4 October 2008].

  9. Saxena, P.C., and Talwar, P.P. (eds.), Recent Advances in the Techniques for Demographic Analysis, Himalaya Publishing House, Bombay.

  10. Siegel, Jacob S., and Swanson, David A. (eds.), The Methods and Materials of Demography, Second Edition, Elsevier Academic Press, New York.

  11. Singh, S.N., Premi, M.K., Bhatia, P.S. and Bose, Ashish (eds.), Population Transistion in India, B.R. Publishing Corporation, Delhi.

  12. Smith David, and Keyfitz, Nathan, 1977, Mathematical Demography. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

  13. Smith, David P., 1992, Formal Demography. New York: Plenum Press.

  14. Stouffer, Samuel A., 1940, Intervening opportunities: Mobility and distance. American Sociological Review, 5.

  15. United Nations, 1974, Methods of Projections of Urban and Rural Population. New York: United Nations.

  16. United Nations, 1983, Indirect Techniques for Demographic Estimation. New York: United Nations.

  17. Wadycki, Walter J., Stouffer’s model of migration: a comparison of interstate and metropolitan flows. Demography, 12(1).

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