This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (copyright 2015--it will be out soon), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What's in a Name?

The US Social Security Administration has come out with its latest list of baby names, and one surprise is that José is no longer among even the top 50 most popular boy's name among Hispanics, not even in Texas, where it had been the most popular boy's name for a long time, but has now been replaced by Jacob (the overall most popular boy's name).
Because this happened when birthrates for Hispanic-Americans were among the highest of any ethnic or racial group, the rankings just might be a measure of assimilation, said Prof. Cleveland Kent Evans, who teaches psychology at Bellevue University in Nebraska and wrote “The Great Big Book of Baby Names.”
But, not so fast, argue others:
Experts caution against assuming assimilation as a given. “Jonathan is a very popular name among the low-income groups in Argentina,” said Prof. Javier Auyero, a sociologist at the University of Texas, Austin. “That doesn’t mean they are Americanized.”

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