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Morgan, S. Philip & Hagewen, Kellie J. (2005). Fertility.. Poston, Dudley L., Jr. & Micklin, Michael (Eds.) (pp. 229-249). New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.


The field of demography (also referred to as population studies) has evolved significantly since the mid-twentieth Century. A useful benchmark for gauging the nature and extent of change of the field is Hauser and Duncan’s landmark work, The Study of Population: An Inventory and Appraisal, published in 1959. The 33 chapters contained in that volume were grouped into four sections. Part I, Demography as a Science, contained four chapters laying out the substantive, methodological, epistemological, and organizational foundations of the discipline (Hauser and Duncan 1959a, 1959b, 1959c, 1959d). Part II, Development and Current Status of Demography, offered eight chapters portraying the origins and practice of demography in selected nations, along with an insightful overview of disciplinary history (Lorimer 1959). Part III, Elements of Demography, included a dozen chapters covering elements of the demographic equation2 (structure and components of change), as well as assessments of demographic data. Finally, Part IV, Population Studies in Various Disciplines, contained seven chapters discussing common interests of demography and selected disciplines, including sociology (Moore 1959), economics (Spengler 1959), and human ecology (Duncan 1959). See the Epilogue to this Handbook by Poston, Baumle, and Micklin for more discussion. Not surprisingly, this Handbook covers many of the same topics as The Study of Population, but they are organized a little differently to reflect the evolution of population studies. This Prologue highlights the principal developments in the field during the past 45 years and thus serves at least three purposes. First, it provides an account, albeit abbreviated, of the significant ways in which the demography of today differs from the field on which The Study of Population was based—substantively, methodologically, and in terms of its use for public policy guidance. Second, it illustrates how demographic science has expanded to incorporate portions of heretofore peripheral disciplines, resulting in much wider recognition of the significance and impacts of demographic phenomena. Third, it shows how changes in population studies over the past five decades have been influenced by the expansion of the infrastructure on which modern scientific disciplines depend, namely, information, technology, and organizational structures.


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Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research


Morgan, S. Philip
Hagewen, Kellie J.