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Sources and Methods of Historical Demography - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780127570204, 9781483220659

Sources and Methods of Historical Demography

1st Edition

Studies in Social Discontinuity

Editors: Charles Tilly Edward Shorter
Authors: J. Dennis Willigan Katherine A. Lynch
eBook ISBN: 9781483220659
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 28th January 1982
Page Count: 526
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Sources and Methods of Historical Demography covers the fundamental sources, methods, and approaches to explanatory modeling for describing, analyzing, and understanding demographic features of past societies. The book discusses the intellectual ancestry of historical demographic research, beginning in the 17th century; as well as the logic of basic techniques for reconstructing and analyzing information from fundamental source materials. The text also describes the full range of disciplines that have made major contributions to historical demography, and examples of empirical research. The book concludes by arguing the case for conducting historical demographic research with a broad, interdisciplinary ideal in mind. Historians and sociologists will find the book invaluable.

Table of Contents



I. Introduction

1. A Genealogy of Historical Demography

The Methodologists

Political Arithmetic

The Theorists


II. Fundamental Source Materials

2. Sources of Prehistoric Demography

Censusing Prehistoric Populations from Material Remains

The Study of Prehistoric Vital Rates: Paleodemography

Mortality Patterns Among Prehistoric Populations

Population Growth in Prehistory

Ethnographic Evidence of Population Control in Prehistory


3. Parish Registers and Civil Registration Records

The Development of Parish Registers

The Contents of Parish Register Records on Individuals

Historical Conditions Affecting the Quality of Parish Register Information

Assessing the Quality of Small Sets of Vital Registration Records

Assessing the Quality Of Large Sets of Vital Event Records

Estimating and Correcting for the Underregistration of Vital Events

Vital Registration Records and Historical Demography


4. Enumerations and Censuses

Enumerations in the Past

Hearths and Households in Early Enumerations

The Use of "One-Time" Enumerations

An Example of a Regular Series of Early Enumeration Data: The Stati D'anime

Assessing the Accuracy of Enumeration Data

The Quality of Regular Series of Modern Censuses

The Definition and Boundaries of Census Units

Relationships Among Individuals Within Households

Occupational Data from Census Records and the Analysis of Social Structure

Census Data and the Study of Fertility


5. Genealogies and Population Registers

Types of Genealogies

Some General Problems of Genealogical Sources

Assessing the Quality of Genealogical Sources

Dealing With Partial or Incomplete Data on Individuals

The Significance of the Demographic Experience of Genealogical Populations

Population Registers


6. Organizational and Institutional Records

Marriage Contracts


The Historical Demography of Institutional Populations


III. Methods of Population Reconstruction and Analysis of Historical Sources

7. Record Linkage and the Study of Historical Communities as Relational Systems 167

Important Concepts for the Systems Theorist

Regulation in Historical Demographic Systems

Network Analysis


8. Family Reconstitution and Household Structure Analysis

The Logic of Automatic Family Reconstitution

Calculating Demographic Rates from Family Reconstitution Data

The Structure of Coresident Domestic Groups

Dynamic Studies of Household Structure and Family Life Cycles


9. Sampling in Historical Research

Simple Random, Systematic, and Cluster Sampling

Stratified and Multistage Sampling

Sample Size


10. Lexis Diagrams and Formal Demographic Indexes

Lexis Diagrams

Cohort and Period Indexes: Methodological Problems

The Probability of First Marriages

Fertility Rates in Marriage Cohorts

Probabilities of Dying: The Life Table

Interpreting Cohort Tables: Methodological Problems

Migration and Multiregional Analysis

Computer Programs


11. Factor Analysis

An Overview

Stages in Factor Analyzing Historical Demographic Data

Exploratory Factor Analysis

Confirmatory Factor Analysis

Comparison of Factor Structures Over Time

Indeterminacy in Factor Analytical Solutions


12. Nonmetric Multidimensional Scaling and Cluster Analysis

Creating Proximity Measures

From Nonmetric to Metric Information

The Dimensionality of mds Spaces

Cluster Patterns in Multidimensional Scaling Spaces


13. Regression and Time Series Modeling

Regression Analysis: Preliminary Considerations

Common Problems Encountered In Regression Analysis

Regression with Nominal Variables

Time Series: Preliminary Considerations

Autocorrelation Analysis


Randomness in Time Series

Moving Averages

The Univariate Box-Jenkins Approach to Modeling a Time Series

The Multivariate Box-Jenkins Approach to Modeling a Time Series

Intervention Hypothesis Testing


14. Log-Linear Modeling

The Organization of Categorical Data

The Odds Ratio

Log-Linear Models

Illustrative Example


15. Computer Simulation of Historical Processes

Developing a Model to Simulate

Positive and Negative Feedback Structures

Choosing a Simulation Language

Causal Models in Dynamo Format

Simulating Ramdomness in Causal Models


IV. Causal Model Building and Hypothesis Testing: Major Themes

16. Theory Construction And The Nature of Scientific Explanation

The Nature of Scientific Hypotheses

Explanation Sketches

Models of Scientific Explanation

Explanation Closure

Explanation in Historical Research

Causal Inferences from Historical Statistics

Nonexperimental Causal Inference and Structural Models

Problems in Drawing Valid Causal Inferences in Historical Demography

Problems of Statistical Conclusion Validity

Problems of Internal Validity

The Problem of Construct Validity

The Problem of External Validity

Research Designs with Historical Data

Quasi-Experimental Research Designs With Nonequivalent Groups


17. Population Genetics Models

The Historical Perspective of Population Genetics

Genetic Structure

Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium

Kinship and Identity Coefficients

Genetic Drift in Small Populations


Research Examples


18. Biometrie Models

A General Analytical Framework

Birth Intervals and the Duration of the Nonsusceptible Period

Natural Fertility

The Relationships Between Changes in Fertility and Mortality


19. Evolutionary-Ecological Models

Evolutionary Theory

Sociobiological Theory

Ecological Theory

The Concept of Stability

Randomness in Ecological Settings

Synthesizing Evolutionary and Ecological Theories

Research Examples


20. Socioeconomic Models

A Framework for Demographic Model Building Within Historical

Socioeconomic Contexts

The Cultural Materialist Reformulation of Marx

Structured Social Inequality

Historical Demographic Perspectives on Social Mobility and Inequality

Socioeconomic Models with Demographic Data


V. Conclusion

21. Historical Demography and "Total History"

Recommended Readings

Author Index

Subject Index


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 1982
28th January 1982
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:

About the Editors

Charles Tilly

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Michigan, U.S.A.

Edward Shorter

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Toronto, Canada

About the Authors

J. Dennis Willigan

Katherine A. Lynch

Ratings and Reviews