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Charles Hirschman

In: The SAGE Handbook of Sociology

Chapter 23: Population and Society: Historical Trends and Future Prospects

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Population and Society: Historical Trends and Future Prospects
Population and society: Historical trends and future prospects

The statistics of population behavior in the mass are a dry topic treated in isolation, though they possess their own fascination and rational structure. But they measure events, which are central to the life of men and women in all ages. Once attention is turned outward from the events themselves to the social and economic environment in which they occur, the appeal and importance of demography is apparent. The pressures of hard times and the opportunities of happier periods are reflected in historical demography like images in a camera obscura. The picture always needs interpretation and may lack the polychrome fullness of historical reality but it forms a clear and ...

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