Arland Thornton

Arland Thornton

Research Professor, Population Studies Center.
Research Professor, Survey Research Center.
Professor, Sociology.
Ph.D., Sociology, University of Michigan
Research Interests:  Arland Thornton is Professor of Sociology, Population Studies, and Survey Research at the University of Michigan, where he is also associated with the Native American Studies Program and centers within the International Institute. He is a social demographer who has served as president of the Population Association of America and previously held a MERIT award from the National Institutes of Health. He has received four awards for his books as well as distinguished career awards from the American Sociological Association and the Population Association of America. Thornton has focused much of his career on the study of family and demographic issues, with emphasis on marriage, cohabitation, childbearing, gender roles, education, and migration. Thornton has also pioneered the study of developmental idealism, including its conceptualization, measurement, and influence in many places. He has collaborated in the collection and analysis of data from Albania, Argentina, Bulgaria, China, Egypt, Hungary, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Malawi, Nepal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Turkey, the U.S., and Vietnam. Thornton is currently conducting Sociological Studies about American Indians, examining several dimensions of American Indian life, including levels, trends, and differentials in school enrollment, literacy, and years of school completed.

Select Publications

Arland Thornton and Linda Young-DeMarco. “Literacy Among American Indians: Levels and Trends from 1900 to 1930 and Across Birth Cohorts from 1830 to 1920.” SSAI Working Paper 2021-04. April 2021.

Arland Thornton and Linda Young-DeMarco. “Federal Decennial Census Data for Studying American Indians.” SSAI Working Paper 2021-01. March 2021.

Arland Thornton, Linda Young-DeMarco, and Lindsey Willow Smith. “The Identification of American Indians in the Federal Decennial Censuses.” SSAI Working Paper 2021-02. March 2021.

Kavas, Serap, and Arland Thornton. 2020. "Beliefs About Family Change And Development In Turkey." PSC Research Report No. 20-897. November 2020.

Thornton, Arland, Jeffrey Swindle, Prem B. Bhandari, Linda Young-Demarco, Nathalie Williams, and Christina Hughes. 2020. "Developmental Idealism and Migration: Theorizing their Relationship and an Empirical Example from Nepal." PSC Research Report No. 20-895. 5 2020.

Williams, Nathalie, Prem B. Bhandari, Linda Young-Demarco, Jeffrey Swindle, Christina Hughes, Loritta Chan, Arland Thornton, and Cathy Sun. 2020. "Ethno-Caste influences on migration rates and destinations." World Development, 130: 104912.

Gjonça, Arjan, and Arland Thornton. 2019. "The Spread of Ideas Related to the Developmental Idealism Model in Albania." Sociology of Development, 5(3): 265.

Thornton, Arland, Dirgha J. Ghimire, Linda Young-Demarco, and Prem B. Bhandari. 2019. "The Reliability and Stability of Measures of Individuals' Values and Beliefs Concerning Developmental Idealism in Nepal." Sociology of Development, 5(3): 314.

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