Man's Quest for Social Guidance: The Study of Social Problems

By Howard W. Odum | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIV
THE SOCIAL POPULATION

Approaching the Study. In the previous chapter we have already approached the subject of social population through the avenue of immigration, one of the chief modes through which social groupings are increased and changed. It will be well now to keep the problems of immigration fresh in our minds as we continue our general study of population movements and migrations, with their statistics, theories, and practical issues. For although migration has been one of the fundamental social phenomena of all periods, its manifestations are now of increasing importance. And society faces the whole problem of population from new angles and with new relationships. Thus while we have perhaps been accustomed to consider the problem of population largely from the two-fold viewpoint of numbers and quality, we must now consider more carefully the third factor of distribution as of essential importance to the whole problem and as modifying the other two factors.

Migration and Distribution of Peoples. The methods of migration and distribution may well be illustrated with examples of the American Negro, the Mexican migrant, and the general American immigration situation, besides innumerable examples in other countries. In the United States alone the migration of Negroes from country to city, from city to city, from South to North, has changed the whole problem of race and population within many regions and, for that matter, in the whole United States. With the aggregate movement of Negro population mounting into millions, with their changes in occupation, wealth, and culture, the "new Negro" has created almost a new epoch, no less in America than in our whole racial experience. The movement of Negroes has created entirely new situations in the distribution and culture of populations, not in the northern communities alone, but in southern communities from which the Negro has come, and in international contacts and influences. In the chapter on race

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