Thomas K. Burch

Thomas K. Burch
Position
Adjunct Professor
Sociology
Credentials

PhD (Princeton, 1962)

Contact
Office: COR A359

Dr. Burch's research focus has been on the general area of household and family demography, including marriage, cohabitation, divorce, kinship, and fertility.

His most recent works deals with the relations between theory and computer modelling [simulation], and the search for alternatives to logical empiricism as a guiding methodology for empirical [including quantitative] research. This methodological work has led to a re-interpretation of demography as a large body of substantive models of human population dynamics.

Interests

  • Demography
  • Marriage, Family, and Household
  • Theory
  • Computer Modelling

Selected publications

On teaching demography: some non-traditional guidelines. Canadian Studies in Population 31(2004)135-142.

Zenaida Ravanera, Rajulton Fernando, and T.K. Burch. Patterns of age variability in life course transitions. Canadian Journal of Sociology 29(2004): 527-542.

Computer simulation and statistical modelling: rivals or complements? International Union for the Scientific Study of Population, General Assembly; Tours, France, 2005. Session 131 ['The Epistemology of Demography']. International Union for the Scientific Study of Population, General Assembly; Tours, France, 2005. Available online at: http://www.iussp.org/France2005

Zenaida Ravanera, Rajulton Fernando, and T. K. Burch. Young Canadian's family formation: Variations in delayed start and complex pathways. International Union for the Scientific Study of Population, General Assembly; Tours, France, 2005. Session 43 ['Innovative Methods for the Study of the Family']. Available online at http://www.iussp.org/France2005.

The model-based view of science: an encouragement to interdisciplinary work. 21st Century Society [UK] 1 [June 2006]:39-58

"Families and households, behavioural demography of," In Neil J. Smelser and Paul. B. Baltes (eds.) International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioural Sciences. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2001. Vol. 8, pp. 5265-5271

"Teaching demography: ten principles and two rationales." International Union for the Scientific Study of Population, XXIV General Conference, Salvador, Brazil, August 2001. In Session S65, published in conference proceedings on CD. To be reprinted in Genus [Rome] Vol. 3, Dec. 2002.

"Computer modelling of theory: explanation for the 21st century." In Robert Franck (ed.) Explanatory Power of Models: Bridging the Gap Between Empirical and Theoretical Research in the Social Sciences. Nordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Press, 2002 [forthcoming].