Sociology Index


Ecological Studies was developed by criminologists in the early part of the twentieth century. Ecological Studies or ecological research looks at the relationships of various areas of a community to each other and the ways in which particular forms of behavior may flourish in some communities and not in others.

Century-Old Ecological Studies in France - M. C. Elmer, The American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 39, No. 1 (Jul., 1933) - Abstract: M. de Guerry de Champneuf made some interesting studies relating to the statistical distribution of crime, suicide, and other social phenomena.

The Concept of 'Ecological Complex': A Critique - By Sidney M. Willhelm. American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 23 Issue 3 Page 241 - July 1964 - Abstract: This paper presents certain distinct and fundamental short comings contained in ecological studies explanations that rely upon physical variables.

Ecological study of social fragmentation, poverty, and suicide
Elise Whitley, David Gunnell, Daniel Dorling and George Davey Smith - BM Journal 1999 Oct 16.
It is important to recognise the limitations of ecological studies. Although socially fragmented areas have higher suicide rates, the people who commit suicide may not share the characteristics of the populations from which they are drawn.

Impaired Competence in an Urban Community - An Ecological Study Analysis 
Edgar W. Butler, Department of Sociology University of California, Riverside 
Tzuen-Jen Lei, Neuropsychiatric Institute University of California, Los Angeles 
Ronald J. McAllister, Department of Sociology Northeastern University 
Urban Affairs Review, Vol. 13, No. 4, 421-442 (1978).
This ecological research has demonstrated that some factors external to the individual are related to mental disorders. However, ecological studies of other types of impairments are virtually nonexistent. Ecological analysis of intellectual, behavioral, and physical impairments in an urban complex.

Statistical Issues in the Analysis of Ecological Studies, in May 2003, Imperial College, London.
Abstract: Ecological studies are studies in which data are available for groups only, rather than for the individuals within them. Unfortunately the analysis and interpretation of such data is not straightforward since relationships at the ecological level do not necessarily hold at the level of the individual, leading to the so-called ecological fallacy. Individual-level problems such as controlling for confounders and effect modification become more complicated in ecological studies, and within-area variation can result in bias exclusive to ecological designs. Presents a framework within which ecological studies may be considered.

The Social Side of Schooling: Ecological Studies of Classrooms and Schools. 
Authors: Hamilton, Stephen F. 
Abstract: This paper discusses findings of ecological studies of classroom learning drawn from the fields of anthropology, sociology, and ecological psychology. Ideally, ecological research considers both immediate and extended settings and relationships in its analysis. The studies are discussed in terms of socialization in the school, socialization and academic learning, the social patterns that perpetuate inequality, and studies of school change.

Bursik, Jr., Robert J. 1984. “Urban Dynamics and Ecological Studies of Delinquency.” Social Forces, 63(2): 393-413.