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 (it came out in 2015), 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.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Friday, March 25, 2016

The New York Times Primer on Demography

Thanks to Francesco Billari whose tweet yesterday alerted me to a NYTimes blog post by Michael Gonchar titled "Demography is Destiny? Teaching About Cause and Effect With Global Population Trends." Now, my first reaction was that I had to applaud an article whose first link was to my blog post about the origins of the term "demography is destiny." But things started to go a bit down hill after that because the first section of the "lesson" takes the reader to a Retro Report video on the Population Bomb that the NYTimes put together last year and to which I took exception at the time, because it was clearly biased. Yet, despite the many comments to that effect on the NYTimes website at the time, Gonchar asks students questions about the video as though it were an unbiased factual piece of news. 

Fortunately, the remainder of the lessons are better. Indeed, I have probably blogged about most of the articles linked in the story because the NYTimes is typically an excellent source of news and I have been a long-time subscriber. This blog of mine essentially replaced my long-time practice of bringing in news stories to share with students at the start of class in order to impress upon them that demography is central to our lives, whether we know it or not.

At the same time, just reading news articles isn't enough for you fully to know what's going on. That's why I wrote the book... 

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