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Demographic Research Monographs
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Model-Based Demography

Essays on Integrating Data, Technique and Theory

Authors: Burch, Thomas K.

  • This open access book describes demography as an autonomous science, not just a branch of applied statistics
  • Provides a new view of demography, based on 21st century philosophy of science
  • Points the way toward integration of data, technique and theory
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Buy this book

eBook  
  • ISBN 978-3-319-65433-1
  • This book is an open access book, you can download it for free on link.springer.com
Hardcover $59.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-65432-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

Late in a career of more than sixty years, Thomas Burch, an internationally known social demographer, undertook a wide-ranging methodological critique of demography. This open access volume contains a selection of resulting papers, some previously unpublished, some published but not readily accessible. Rejecting the idea that demography is simply a branch of applied statistics, his work views it as an autonomous and complete scientific discipline. When viewed from the perspective of modern philosophy of science, specifically the semantic or model-based school, demography is a balanced discipline, with a rich body of techniques and data, but also with more and better theories than generally recognized. As demonstrated in this book, some demographic techniques can also be seen as theoretical models, and some substantive/behavioral models, commonly rejected as theory because of inconsistent observations, are now seen as valuable theoretical models, for example demographic transition theory.  This book shows how demography can build a strong theoretical edifice on its broad and deep empirical foundation by adoption of the model-based approach to science. But the full-fruits of this approach will require demographers to make greater use of computer modeling in the statement and manipulation of theoretical ideas, as well as for numerical computation.

About the authors

After completing his graduate work in sociology and demography at the Office of Population 

Research, Princeton University, Thomas Burch taught at Marquette, and at Georgetown University, where he helped found the Center for Population Research. From 1970 to 1975 he served in the Demographic Division [Associated Director] of The Population Council. He then joined the University of Western Ontario to help develop a new Ph.D. program in social demography. He was elected President of the Canadian Population Society in 1992-94, and received that organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013. Currently he is Adjunct Professor at the University of Victoria and Research Affiliate of the Centre for Studies in Demography and Ecology, University of Washington. His main research interests have been fertility, marriage and divorce, household and family structure, and kinship. He has had an abiding interest in demographic theory, and concern over the relative neglect of the

ory by the discipline. In the 1990’s, he began to develop a new vision for the codification, presentation, and future development of demography, based on the ‘semantic’ or ‘model-based’ approach to the philosophy of science.  In this view of demography, technique, empirical research and theory are in better balance. And demography is seen to have more good theory than is generally realized.

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Table of contents (14 chapters)

  • Demography in a New Key: A Theory of Population Theory

    Burch, Thomas K.

    Pages 3-19

  • Data, Models, Theory and Reality: The Structure of Demographic Knowledge

    Burch, Thomas K.

    Pages 21-42

  • Computer Modeling of Theory: Explanation for the Twenty-First Century

    Burch, Thomas K.

    Pages 43-65

  • Computer Simulation and Statistical Modeling: Rivals or Complements?

    Burch, Thomas K.

    Pages 67-77

  • Does Demography Need Differential Equations?

    Burch, Thomas K.

    Pages 79-94

Buy this book

eBook  
  • ISBN 978-3-319-65433-1
  • This book is an open access book, you can download it for free on link.springer.com
Hardcover $59.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-65432-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Model-Based Demography
Book Subtitle
Essays on Integrating Data, Technique and Theory
Authors
Series Title
Demographic Research Monographs
Copyright
2018
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-65433-1
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-65433-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-65432-4
Series ISSN
1613-5520
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVIII, 200
Number of Illustrations and Tables
7 b/w illustrations
Topics