Demography and Social Network Differentiation

Ashton M. Verdery, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Nearly all societies have completed or begun a demographic transition, but their experiences have varied in terms of timing, tempo and extent of mortality and fertility decline. I focus on understanding what implications such variation has for social interaction. Though prior literature has explored demographic contributions to opportunities for interaction between individuals of different ages, it has focused on social ties between very close kin (such as children and parents), particularly in the context of multi-generational co-residence. This paper extends this focus by considering broader kinship links in communities, which are important components of community integration. To do so, I use a simulation approach that combines the traditions of demographic micro-simulation and social network generation with techniques of agent-based modeling. Results are presented concerning how variations in demographic history manifest as differences in modern social networks. These are then validated against a set of specific cases from Nang Rong, Thailand.

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Presented in Session 68: Mathematical and Computational Approaches to Demography