• Julianna Kearney

MCAT Monday: Society and Culture - Demographics

Updated: Nov 9, 2020


In order to understand the structure of a society, it is important to understand the demographic characteristics and processes which define it. Knowledge of the demographic structure of societies and an understanding of how societies change helps us to comprehend the distinct processes and mechanisms through which social interaction occurs. (via AAMC)


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Practice Questions:


1. Which of these statements is a criticism of the perspective of relative deprivation theory?

Choose 1 answer:

  • A: People only choose to join social movements because of a lack of conventional means to address their concerns.

  • B: People choose not to join social movements, which are often dysfunctional and have suspicious intentions.

  • C: People may not choose to join a social movement because of lack of resources.

  • D: People compare the benefits and consequences of participation in a social movement.

2. What is the difference between periphery and semi-periphery countries? Choose 1 answer:

  • A: Periphery countries have a weak central government with little industrialization, while semi-periphery countries often have a stable government and an expanding middle class.

  • B: Periphery countries have a strong central government and an economy based on raw materials, while semi-periphery countries have a weak central government and an underground economy.

  • C: Periphery countries are industrialized and have a strong central government, while semi-periphery countries have a weak government and an economy based on the barter system.

  • D: Periphery countries have a weak central government and an economy based on raw materials, while semi-periphery countries have a strong central government and an economy based on high skill jobs.

3. Which of these groups would be considered an age cohort? Choose 1 answer:

  • A: A group of children, all of who are being breastfed until age 2.

  • B: A group of men aged 70 to 80.

  • C: A group of men and women of varying ages who all grew up in areas without indoor plumbing.

  • D: A group of programmers between 20 and 55 years old.

4. Which of these people is NOT conforming to socialized gender roles? Choose 1 answer:

  • A: A woman, who loves to work on cars, can’t cook, and works as a physicist.

  • B: A teacher, who reinforces competition in academic situations.

  • C: A man, who doesn’t want to show emotions in public, at home, or in private.

  • D: A mother that divides household chores, giving strength related chores to her sons and cleanliness related chores to her daughters.

5. Which of these statements is the correct definition for discrimination based on one’s ethnicity? Choose 1 answer:

  • A: Oversimplified ideas about a group based on socially defined physical characteristics.

  • B: Biased beliefs about a group that are not based on experience, but based instead on socially defined cultural characteristics.

  • C: A biased action against a group of people based on socially defined cultural characteristics.

  • D: Thoughts or feelings about a group of people based on socially defined physical characteristics.

6. Which of these scenarios would fit into the first stage of the demographic transition theory? Choose 1 answer:

  • A: Low birth rate, high death rate, negative population growth

  • B: High birth rate, low death rate, negative population growth

  • C: High birth rate, high death rate, positive population growth

  • D: Low birth rate, low death rate, positive population growth

7. What stage of the demographic transition theory does this population pyramid show?

Choose 1 answer:

  • A: Stage 1

  • B: Stage 2

  • C: Stage 4

  • D: Stage 5

8. What is a stable replacement fertility rate? Choose 1 answer:

  • A: 1 child per woman

  • B: 0 children per woman

  • C: 1.1 child per woman

  • D: 2.1 children per woman

9. How does mass society theory describe social movements? Choose 1 answer:

  • A: Social movements are dangerous, dysfunctional, irrational, and motivated by suspicious intentions.

  • B: Social movements are logical, highly organized, and motivated by positive social change.

  • C: Social movements can have many motivations, both positive and negative.

  • D: Social movements are necessary for normal, organized social development.

10. Which statement correctly describes a rural area? Choose 1 answer:

  • A: A rural area can have as many as 10,000 people per square mile.

  • B: A rural area may contain more than 1,000 people per square mile.

  • C: A rural area can have as many as 2,500 residents.

  • D: A rural area may contain more than 50,000 residents.

11. How would the hyperglobalist perspective describe the impact of globalization? Choose 1 answer:

  • A: Globalization causes social unrest, job loss, and the unethical treatment of laborers.

  • B: The process that drives globalization is legitimate.

  • C: The influence of globalization is unknown and cannot be adequately described with known data.

  • D: Globalization drives down the cost of goods, raises the standard of living globally, and increases production efficiency.

12. Japan’s population is aging. In 2014, more than 25% of Japan’s population was 65 years or older. As the dependency ratio increases, how could age stratification theory describe the conflict between age cohorts for social resources? Choose 1 answer:

  • A: Elderly individuals make choices to maintain constancy in social roles. This tendency to consistency causes conflict with a younger generation that wants change.

  • B: Aging causes a separation in society; the elderly disengage, giving up control of social resources. This withdrawal from social relationships causes conflict between differing social roles.

  • C: The loss of access and control over social resources as one ages regulates conflict between age cohorts.

  • D: Activities, which were lost due to aging, must be replaced by other activities. This causes a conflict for social resources.

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