Журнал "Демографія та соціальна економіка"

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№2 (18) 2012

Demography and social economy, 2012, 2(18):33-42
doi: https://doi.org/10.15407/dse2012.02.033


Section: Demographic processes and their consequences.
Language: Ukrainian
Abstract: The article deals with the phenomenon of gnostic crisіs in demography. Demography exists as a unity of two areas of gnostic activity that are different in character. The different kinds of phenomena of demographic development are the subject of the first area of research. The subject of gnostic activity in the second field (field of demology) is to find the entities of the demographical, study the connections between them and their hierarchy. The value of this field is that its structure serves as the general logic of the special demographic methodology of understanding the reasons which are stable that determines the existence of statistical regularities. The gnostic crisis in demography manifests itself as lag of the formation of demology as the theoretical basis of demographic-statistical studies, prevailing in contemporary demography. This situation hinders the further development of scientific thinking and the increase of the practical effectiveness of its population policy component. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the characteristics of the main causes and consequences of this gnostic crisis in demography in the light of development problems.
The gnostic crisis in demography is objective evidence that demographers do not show sufficient interest in the development of the subject of their own scientific interest. Demotheoretical studies are not sufficiently intense. Instead the empirical-statistical interpretation of the subject and method of demography is widespread, i.e. the identification of demographic statistics with demography as a science of the conservation of the measure of population as an aggregate of individuals of specific social-historical quality. The obstacle for the development of the theory of population is the lack of focus on understanding the study achievements of the demographical outside of empiric demography, i.e. in the space of theoretical social sciences, particularly political economy. Here demographers are actually ignoring schemes of theoretical description of historical processes. Demology which should serve as logic of knowledge of states and changes of unique historical types of demographic macrosystem can not develop on the basis of direct use of the achievements of statistical demography, including the results of the study of “demographic biographies” and “demographic beha- viours”. Therefore, in empirical-statistical demography, in the study of the gnostic gains made in it, in their inductive generalization, it is unproductive to search that actually forms the basis-substance of the subject of the study of the demographical. The “ultimate” goal of the development of demology as demographic metatheory is seeking and revealing the essence of changes in the processes of movement (development or degradation) of the demographical. As social relations and processes represent the macro level of the subject of social science, i.e. characterize all vital processes in a specific theoretical way, then we should search for a “unifier” of all parts and branches of demography into a single science exactly in those vital processes. This statement is a prerequisite for constructing sketch models which give an idea about the aim of demography as a theory that does not build on statistics.
The way out of the gnostic crisis is closely linked to progress in understanding the subject of demographic studies, i.e. the change from an exclusively demostatistical interpretation to a demological interpretation. A more adequate reflection of demoreality in science will shift demographersґ attention towards the demotheoretical gnostic sphere of activity. It will lead towards the development of a research orientation which strives to find the essence of the demographical in order to develop a mature demographic theory as a macro-system with an inherent historical development.
Trying to accompany empirical statistical research of the population by demological perspective reflects the necessity of complementing empirical studies of short periods of people’s life in specific space and time with the development of hypotheses and relevant models of states and structures of vital activities in historically unique and long-lived species and types of social organisms. The move to a demographic understanding of history is called for first of all by the need to realize that “demographic” human behavior is everything, not simply some separate its “part” or property. Without this awareness the “demographization” of all kinds of social and economic policy as the only effective method of demopolitical impact on the current crisis of demoreality is impossible.
Key words: regularities and essences of the demographical, demology, gnostic crisis in demography, demographic macro-system, demoreality, population policy, demographization.
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