Y. J. Lee, PhD (Director)—sociology
Affiliate Graduate Faculty
T. Brown, PhD—population studies
Certificate Offered: Graduate Certificate in Population Studies
The Academic Program
The graduate program addresses the relationships between population processes—fertility, mortality, migration, population growth, and aging—and social, political, environmental, and economic change in the contemporary world. The subject matter is addressed from a multi-disciplinary perspective with an emphasis on policy-oriented study and research. Given the location of the UH Manoa and the expertise of its faculty, the graduate program emphasizes policies and issues of contemporary importance in the Asia-Pacific region.
The program’s curriculum draws on the strengths of its interdisciplinary faculty who are drawn from sociology, economics, public health, geography, anthropology, political science, urban planning, and communication. Their current research and teaching interests include, among others, high-risk behavior among youth, change in marriage and the family, reproductive health, health policy, the emergence of HIV/AIDS and other infectious disease, the implications of aging and slowing population growth, and migration and urbanization.
Certificate in Population Studies
The interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Population Studies consists of 16 credits of course work, earned with a grade of more than B- in any course, and a capstone project. Specific requirements are:
Each year, the program director appoints a committee of three faculty
members to both administer the comprehensive examination and assess completed
research papers. Four of six questions must be answered in the comprehensive
examination, which will be written and followed by an oral discussion.
It will be broad in scope and assume basic knowledge of the concepts,
substance, and techniques of population. Questions will be concerned with
the integration of material, plausible argument, and reflective statement.
Research papers must be of publishable quality, and a student choosing
this option will have a faculty advisor who is not a member of the assessment
Thematic Clusters in Population Studies
Population Studies consists of a core of basic information and themes or key issues in population inquiry: marriage, family and fertility; health and development; aging; social mobility and spatial dynamics; population and environment; population and economics; and demographic methods. Each of these is conceived as an overlapping circle to emphasize the exchange of information and ideas about human populations, based on courses and seminars drawn from population studies, the social sciences, and the health sciences. Seven themes are emphasized:
Marriage, Family and Fertility The institutions of marriage, the family and the household are crucial in demographic processes and are at the center of broader social and economic change as well. This module examines these key institutions from economic, sociological and other perspectives, with particular attention to their roles in shaping demographic systems. Families and households allocate resources among its members and across time. In so doing, they influence the level and distribution of mortality and morbidity, education, and other components of well-being. The family is central to reproduction and the replacement of populations. The module considers factors underlying levels of reproduction in technologically less-developed societies and societies with modern demographic regimes, and examines the place of these institutions in recognized variations in long-term transitions from one to the other. These institutions are also central to the recent trend in many societies toward very low fertility. The same institutions are important to our understanding of migration patterns. Attention is given to ways that families and households influence the residential changes of individuals.
Health and Development focuses on trends in morbidity and mortality and their relationship to political, social and economic change. The module emphasizes behavioral determinants of health, the effects of income and education, gender and race, and health policy. In addition, it addresses the effects of illness on individual outcomes, e.g., educational attainment and earnings, and on aggregate development, e.g., urbanization and growth on GDP. An important topic is the emergence of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, the possible course of epidemics, and their development ramifications. Various policy prescriptions are considered including improving health care delivery systems, implementing vaccination campaigns, improving education and transferring cash to the poor. Close attention is paid to the importance of reproductive health in lowering fertility and infant mortality rates as well as in thwarting the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases. The module also emphasizes the important role that women play in improving health in the developing world. A final emphasis of the module is the disparities in health outcomes: across rich and poor individuals, across the developed and developing world, as well as across races and genders.
Aging addresses the processes of individual aging and population aging. The first of the two foci considers the evolution of health, employment, earnings and assets, living arrangements, and other individual characteristics that vary with age. Close attention is paid to the inter-relationships among these characteristics, differences in these processes both across countries and across demographic groups within countries, and the implications of public policy, e.g., retirement and pension policy. The second of the module’s two foci discusses how societies are affected by and cope with an aging population. It discusses how societies look after the financial and personal well-being of their retired and disabled constituents as well as how societies provide medical care to their citizens as their health atrophies. A particular emphasis is on the systems of support, both public and private, that provide housing, consumption and medical care for the elderly and disabled and how systems vary across the developed and developing worlds.
Social Mobility and Spatial Dynamics focuses on the spatial dynamics of societies with particular attention to issues of internal and international migration and the size and other characteristics of places from the village community to the mega-urban region. Population movement within and between countries consists of a variety of forms of mobility associated with physical resource endowments, historical social and economic development, demographic systems, and public policy. The literatures of demography and other social sciences also consider the characteristics of migrants and migrant streams.
Population and Environment considers the relationship between population and the natural environment. Major themes include the debate over ‘sustainable development’ and the impact of population growth on land use, marine resources, air quality, water, and climate in both rural and urban environments. The effect of environmental change on population variables is also an important issue. The health effects of environmental degradation and the impact of the environment on migration are of particular interest.
Population and Economics addresses the connections between population change and the economy at both the aggregate and individual level. What are the implications for slowing population growth and changing age structure for economic growth, poverty, and other macroeconomic variables? How are marriage, childbearing, living arrangements, and other demographic behaviors responding to and influencing economic circumstances? How are labor force decisions by women, retirement behavior, and other employment decisions influenced by demographic factors?
Demographic Methods provides additional training in the concepts and techniques of demographic analysis. Courses cover (1) methods of collecting valid and reliable information about population, such as survey design and sampling method, and (2) methods of analyzing data which are available in the field of demography, such as survival analysis, multi-stage/multi-regional demography, and other state-of-the-art statistical techniques for data analysis.
Please note: This Catalog was prepared to provide information and does not constitute a contract. The University reserves the right to change or delete, supplement or otherwise amend at any time and without prior notice the information, requirements and policies contained in this Catalog.
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