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From a sociological perspective, what do the effects of demographic change have on the social structure of the community of Exeter?

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Introduction

From a sociological perspective, what do the effects of demographic change have on the social structure of the community of Exeter? Objectives: 1) To create a research project loosely based on the study proposed by W. M. Williams, A West Country Village: Ashworthy: Family, Kinship and Land. 2) Concentrate on the sociological issues that arise from demographic change in a city community, including family, kinship, class and age. 3) Look at Exeter's population change over the past 20 years. 4) Research Methods: i) Conduct a questionnaire to be carried out in Exeter. ii) Collect secondary data relevant to the project (e.g. census data) iii) Map the shops and services in the high street to gain an understanding of what age groups Exeter wants to attract. iv) Find out if there is a strong sense of community by finding out what clubs and societies are available. v) Look at religion in the community. 2001 Census Results for South West Region From the census data one was able to see that, during the last 20 years the South West's population has grown by over half a million, the fastest growing region in this period. However out of all the places in the south west that have experienced demographic change Exeter has experienced relatively low population growth of about 10.5% The South West has also shown a growth in its 'retirement' population by a fifth since 1991. ...read more.

Middle

Also find out the type of job industry the individual is in, primary, secondary, tertiary or quaternary, as this would show a change in work patterns between the young and the old. Transport and communication are also key factors in keeping family and kinship bonds strong. Another issue to be looked at is, does the large student population have an effect on family and kinship structures in Exeter? Also by finding out the number of local people that attend the university compared to the number of people who live outside of Devon this would show if family and kinship bonds are less strong amongst the younger members of society. Other factors that should be taken into account when conducting this project are, to find out whether Exeter has an ageing population. This would effect family and kinship systems as the young for example may move away to find better jobs or education i.e. university. One could also see how the change in attitudes towards women in the work place has had an effect on the social structure. Also the change in industry could attribute towards the social structure of the community of Exeter. In Britain, the census provides useful demographic information that can highlight areas for particular study. ...read more.

Conclusion

The disadvantages in the study include the fact that causation of population change is difficult to establish, and that with the types of data used, it is hard to be very specific about the background changes that affect population dynamics (Robins 1996:14). The final outcome of Robins' study found that during the colonial period fertility levels increased dramatically, resulting in a rapid growth in population. This was attributed to the influence of western values and the advent of capitalism. The second study looked at was one carried out by Akim J. Mturi and Sian L. Curtis, Fertility, Infant Mortality and Family Planning Policy in Tanzania. They studied the effects of these factors on population change, and tried to find out whether family formation patterns have a direct or only a background effect on infant mortality. The study analyses the potential impact of the family planning programme in Tanzania on the infant mortality rate. The central research method used in the study is the data collected in the 1991/1992 Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey which contains data gleaned from interviews conducted on all women between the ages of 15 and 49 in selected households. Other similar surveys are used to add to the data. This information produces a range of statistical data, which is then analysed to produce a table showing the distribution of births. ...read more.

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