Quantifying paradigm change in demography

Bijak, J., Courgeau, D., Silverman, E. and Franck, R. (2014) Quantifying paradigm change in demography. Demographic Research, 30(32), pp. 911-924. (doi: 10.4054/DemRes.2014.30.32)

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Abstract

Background: Demography is a uniquely empirical research area amongst the social sciences. We posit that the same principle of empiricism should be applied to studies of the population sciences as a discipline, contributing to greater self-awareness amongst its practitioners. Objective: The paper aims to include measurable data in the study of changes in selected demographic paradigms and perspectives. Methods: The presented analysis is descriptive and is based on a series of simple measures obtained from the free online tool Google Books Ngram Viewer, which includes frequencies of word groupings (n-grams) in different collections of books digitised by Google. Results: The tentative findings corroborate the shifts in the demographic paradigms identified in the literature -- from cross-sectional, through longitudinal, to event-history and multilevel approaches. Conclusions: These findings identify a promising area of enquiry into the development of demography as a social science discipline. We postulate that more detailed enquiries in this area in the future could lead to establishing History of Population Thought as a new sub-discipline within population sciences.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Silverman, Dr Eric
Authors: Bijak, J., Courgeau, D., Silverman, E., and Franck, R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Demographic Research
Publisher:Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
ISSN:1435-9871
ISSN (Online):1435-9871
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 Bijak, Courgeau, Silverman & Franck
First Published:First published in Demographic Reasearch 30(32):911-924
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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