At its heart, demography is the study of three basic population processes: fertility, mortality, and migration. Unlike “pure” demographers, social demographers concern themselves with understanding the social origins of these three processes and their consequences for social life.
At Fordham, the tradition of social demographic research may be traced back to the earliest days of the Sociology and Anthropology Department, which was founded by Rev. Joseph P. Fitzpatrick, S.J., a Jesuit scholar whose writing and activism focused on the welfare of immigrants to New York City. Research on local migrants remains one of the department’s greatest strengths, with special attention being paid to socioeconomic mobility, inequality, integration, and citizenship.
A second strength derives from faculty expertise in urban demography, particularly in the areas of housing, residential segregation, and the social determinants of health. Finally, several faculty members specialize in the study of families, conducting research that ranges from the influence of religious belief on family formation, to the impact of childbearing on employment, to the effect of parental non-standard employment on children’s well-being.
Like other students, you can enrich your exposure to the field of social demography through internships in local government agencies and research organizations. In addition, Fordham graduate students can access internal data files from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) through the university’s membership in the New York Census Research Data Center (NYCRDC).
Faculty in this area: Fuentes; Gilbertson; Rodriguez, O.; Rosenbaum; Weinshenker