World is being divided in two parts demographically. One half of the world including the industrialized countries has completed the demographic transition. In these countries, fertility rate is quite low. In the other half, where birth rates remain high, rapid population growth is beginning to overwhelm local life-support systems in many countries, leading to ecological deterioration and declining living standards. Once this deterioration begins, rapid population growth and ecological deterioration feed on each other, pushing countries into a demographic trap.
There is a broad consensus that high fertility and rapid population growth slows socioeconomic development in less developed countries In general, with economic development (e. g. , gains in agricultural productivity and industrial technology, better transportation and commercial networks, advances in medicine and hygiene) came improvements in nutrition and health of populations. This improvement resulted in enhanced survival prospects and falling death rates. With a lag, the customs promoting high fertility were eroded.
As societies became more industrialized and urban, parents increasingly perceived fewer net advantages to large families. Eventually fertility declines caught up with the lower mortality. Today the economically advanced nations of Europe and North America as well as Australia, New Zealand, and Japan have essentially attained replacement level fertility. Thus, based on the historical record of these advanced nations, it seems that economic development brought about the demographic transition.
In effect, ecological deterioration, economic decline, and political instability reinforce each other, confronting governments with the prospect of social disintegration. In this paper a careful, analysis of aggregate of population growth rate will be made in developing and developed countries. The ultimate size of the global population largely depends on how quickly nations of the “third” and “fourth” worlds complete their fertility transitions moving from traditional regimes of high fertility to modern regimes where the average couple desires and produces no more than the two births required for replacement. Brown and Jacobson 1986)
Discussion The world population is larger and wealthier than ever. We understand our needs better than did the early agriculturists. We are also more clever and innovative at harnessing and manipulating the ecological currency of energy. The green revolution is continuing, and seems to be defying the Malthusian vision of increased war, famine, and disease. If only 20 percent of the fresh water on earth were used for agriculture, which is somewhat more reasonable, then under the “best” scenario the earth’s water could support 30. 5 billion people.
But Cohen’s best-case scenarios are purposefully optimistic rather than realistic. As one considers different estimates of the variables involved, such as how much water is conveniently available or how efficient we are with its use, then the numbers start to drop. In Cohen’s worst-case scenario, there is only enough water on earth to support 1. 1 billion people. We passed that number shortly before the beginning of the twentieth century. Indeed, the twentieth century saw a ninefold increase in the total amount of water humans drew from rivers and aquifers.
Meanwhile the population grew six fold. Part of the disparity between six- and nine fold comes from increased need of water for irrigation rather than dry farming and for industry to support the growing population. If cycles of expansion and stagnation punctuate the rhythms of the world system, one would expect that environmentally degradative effects would follow the patterning of the cycles of growth and stagnation. Because of their long temporality, it would be more appropriate to term the increasing appearance of environmental degradative instances as ‘long swings. My beginning and thus far limited exploration of these ‘long swings’ of environmental degradation seems to suggest that they correlate with population growth, at least for one country (China) over a 2,000 year period. Population growth trends have been described to fit an ‘s’ curve (a logistic curve) whereby a period of accelerated growth is followed by a slowdown, and the limits of the curve asymptotically approaches a horizontal line that is parallel to the asymptote of origin.
If this is the case, the dimension of population and its interrelations with the other features of the world system must be included in our analysis of long-term change. Especially in our case, population is a variable that determines the sustainability of Nature, which in turn is also determined by Nature. Symbolic interactionists are particularly interested in how persons nurture both a concept of self and their identities through roles and the interactions of people. To illustrate, consider how symbolic interactionists might examine how adult children care for aging parents.
Analyzing roles would be particularly useful, most notably how adult children adjust to the caregiving role and how aging parents adapt to being the recipients of assistance. In this way, the dynamics of intergenerational caregiving might best be understood when they are examined in the context of the social setting in which they occur. Symbolic interactionists would also explore the redefinition of generational roles that often takes place during caregiving situations. That is, elderly parents once gave assistance; now they are receiving it.
This shift requires the redefinition of role expectations as well as the realignment of family power. Other dimensions of roles are equally important to acknowledge. For example, persons often play several roles at the same time, known as a role set. To illustrate, a man may be a father, but he also plays the role of a husband and company employee. In the foregoing example, he may also be a son as well as a caregiver to his own parents. Also, it is not uncommon for an individual to experience difficulty in meeting the responsibilities or obligations of a role, termed role strain.
For instance, the woman who successfully plays the roles of wife and company executive but has trouble providing care to her newborn child is experiencing a type of role strain, particularly as far as the mothering role is concerned. Role conflict occurs when a person is faced with competing demands in roles originating from two different social statuses. Role conflict can be seen when a female business manager hires a close friend: the demands of being a supervisor might clash with the role of being a good friend.
One mechanism is that more education leads to fewer but higher quality members; then slower population growth implies more capital per worker. Also, an increase in the quality of workers implies greater technical progress, either through absorption of existing technology or the creation of new technology. Both lead to higher incomes. This portion links demographic transitions to East Asia’s growth. We first examine demographic trends in these countries and link them to the rise of school enrollment. We then connect the rise in educational attainment to more rapid economic growth.
We divide the region into three groups. First is North East Asia, including Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore (as an honorary member of this group). They have much in common: culture, ethnicity and historical experiences. Second is South East Asia, including Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. They are more diverse in culture and ethnicity. Third is China, a country enormous in size and in economic diversity. Japan, much like Europe, passed through the demographic transition to moderate and then low population growth with few of the challenges confronting developing countries today.
Population growth in the 150 years before 1868 was very low. Between 1720 and 1870, the population grew from 26 million to only 30 to 33 million annual increases a fraction of the 2. 6 percent experienced by East Asia’s developing countries in the late 1960s as they entered their rapid economic growth periods. From the 1880s into the early 20th century, Japan’s population growth increased to moderately high levels (averaging 1 percent per annum slightly higher than Europe but significantly lower than the United States over that period).
By the 1920s, Japan’s fertility rate was already in secular decline; government pro-natalist policies from 1940-45 could only momentarily arrest this trend. The implications of Japan’s population dynamics over time for the course of economic development have been enormous, even though largely unplanned. Japan entered Meiji as a mid-sized state with a population large enough that development could be pursued, wittingly or unwittingly, using the marginal gains from surplus agrarian labor in industry.
At the same time, the population was not growing so rapidly as to absorb increases in agricultural output, which were instead a source of industrial capital. Domestic markets were of a size to allow for economies of scale. Moreover, population growth—even in the peak decades—was low enough to accommodate human capital deepening through increased educational spending; productivity was helped through higher capital to worker ratios; and higher incomes led to more savings.
Because Japan had a large population on the eve of modern development (its 34 million people in 1870 was second in size to only the United States and France among the countries later to form the OECD) and a dense man-to-land ratio, it came to have a large pool of agrarian labor to draw into industry. The early growth gains came in substantial part from a surplus of labor, which industry used at low wage rates; low-skilled, labor-intensive enterprises dominated the economy (including the export sector) into the 1920s.
The crossover point at which labor supply became inelastic is still debated. 49 From World War 1, real wages in heavy manufacturing began to increase, but aspects of a dual economy with substantial wage differentials between the large-scale modern sector and traditional small and medium manufacturers persisted until the 1960s. At the same time, it is important to recall Japan’s slow population growth through the nineteenth and early part of twentieth centuries; the labor supply grew steadily, at 0. 5 percent per annum, between 1880-1920.
In consequence, the nation did not face the daunting problems of labor absorption or mass unemployment seen in parts of the developing world today. Freedman ( 1982) notes, too, the importance of an international demonstration effect. The high-consumption lifestyle of the West is initially emulated by the elite and more literate in the developing countries, with a consequent moderation in fertility. Their example then diffuses among the larger population as material aspirations are whetted and economic mobility perceived.
When this happens, receptiveness toward family planning programs becomes more widespread, which in turn validates the growing desire for fertility limitation. Leibenstein’s theory of fertility decline, which builds on the concept of “social influence groups,” fits nicely here. 3 With economic growth and modernization, mobility is enhanced and the distinctions among socioeconomic strata may become blurred. To maintain a relative position in the social structure, and even more so to advance, families feel compelled to manifest a certain consumption standard.
The dual constraints of narrowing income differentials and “required” consumption expenditures, to advertise one’s membership in a particular social influence group, put pressure on the families to restrict numbers and thus to reduce fertility. Fertility and family-size standards may even evolve within social influence groups. While Caldwell’s and Leibenstein’s theories are intuitively attractive, both are handicapped when it comes to empirical verification–finding standardized or comparable data on intergenerational wealth flows or social influence group pressures.
To some extent this situation is the well-known bane of social science, a fortiori for theories of fertility, Unfortunately it seems to be especially problematic for these two models. The concepts of child quality and the opportunity cost of time (especially for the mother) are important. Child quality denotes expenditures per child (“child deepening”) and may reflect parental aspirations for and investments in each child. Increases in income may be associated with reduced fertility not because children are inferior goods, but because parents substitute child quality for child quantity.
Technically put, the income elasticity of child quantity is positive but less than the income elasticity of child quality. More simply stated, parents, on average, opt for having fewer children and spending more on each child. Related to this concept, with the gains in female education and economic opportunity likely to accompany economic growth and modernization, the opportunity cost of a woman’s time (measured by the net wage she could earn in market activities) increases, making time-intensive activities such as child rearing relatively more expensive.
This situation also would tend to depress fertility, ceteris paribus. The key variables in the microeconomic model of fertility are income and prices (in terms of money and time) of child-related versus nonchild-related goods and activities. Symbolic interactionism is a major school of thought in human development, sociology, and family studies and is widely used in the study of close relationships. Symbolic interactionism emphasizes the association between symbols (i. e. , shared meanings) and interactions (i. . , verbal and nonverbal actions and communications). Essentially, this approach seeks to understand how humans, in concert with one another, create symbolic worlds and how these worlds, in turn, shape human behavior. Within the study of relationships across the lifespan, symbolic interactionists are particularly interested in how persons nurture a concept of self and of their identities through social interaction, thus enabling them to independently assign value to and assess value in their lives.
Symbolic interactionism, then, carefully analyzes the actions of individuals, since covert activity is deemed crucial in understanding the impact of society on development. Thus the dynamics of lifespan development are best understood when they are examined in the context of the social setting in which they take place. Relatedly, patterns of interaction, such as those taking place during peer-group or sibling interactions, parent-child relations, or caring for an aging family member, are best understood when their shared meanings are fathomed. This theory is especially useful in analyzing how individuals adjust to various