Written by sociologist Frank W. Elwell, Dean of Liberal Arts at Rogers State University. The book is a commentary on Malthus’ 1798 Essay on Population that attempts to tie the interpretation closely to the original Essay rather than to the politically charged reactions to that Essay. Malthus' master work is not a simplistic projection of future population growth and inevitable collapse, the Essay is actually a far subtler ecological-evolutionary social theory. Malthus’ theory is fundamentally based on the relationships between population and food production. Increase the supply of food, he argues, and population will rise to meet this increase. This, he asserts, means that the race between population and resources can never be truly won by any sociocultural system. Therefore, some measure of social inequality is inevitable in all human societies.
The work includes commentary and criticism of Malthus’
methodology, the materialist, evolutionary, and functional elements of
his theory, as well as the application of his theory to understanding the
nature of welfare programs and possibilities for social progress.
©Frank Elwell Send comments to felwell at rsu.edu