Population causes of climate change and related disasters, and the population consequences of disasters.

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Sociology
Year / Level: 4
Theme(s): Climate Justice and Social Science



Climate change is exacerbating the severity and patterning of extreme weather hazards that cause disasters. At the same time, population settlement patterns and infrastructural investments are rendering more groups vulnerable to exposure, with consequences for population mortality, morbidity, migration, and fertility. In this seminar, we examine the interrelationship between climate change, disasters, and population processes, using both sociological and demographic perspectives. Course content focuses on both the population causes of climate change and related disasters, and on the population consequences of disasters. The readings encompass both theoretical and empirical work. Particular attention will be paid to social inequalities along axes of race/ethnicity/indigeneity, socioeconomic status, and gender, and to methodological innovations, such as the use of remotely sensed data, spatial data, social media data, and administrative data.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the similarities and differences between concepts in the demography and sociology of disasters, such as hazard, disaster, mitigation, adaptation, vulnerability, and risk.

  • Apply core concepts to the social scientific assessment of the population causes and consequences of disasters, namely migration, mortality, morbidity, and fertility.

  • Assess the theoretical and empirical claims in sociology and demography articles and articulate clearly and succinctly a gap and how to address it with social science tools.


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Read a copy of the course syllabus to see reading lists, assignments, grading, and more.



Ethan Raker