Sociology Index

Human Ecology

Human ecology is about how the relationship between the individual and the natural environment is mediated through society? Human ecology is the branch of sociology that is concerned with studying the relationships between human groups and their physical and social environments (Sociology of Environment). Human ecology includes the study of the detrimental effects of modern civilization on the environment, with a view toward prevention or reversal through conservation. By studying Human Ecology, the student will be able to understand Ecology and some of its basic principles, such as the life support systems of the planet, functions of ecosystems, first and second laws of thermodynamics, food webs, biological diversity, biogeochemical cycles, biological magnification and the greenhouse effect.

Exponential population growth and it’s implications for human and environmental health and how it can be stabilized. Limitations inherent in the consumption of finite resources like fossil fuels, uranium and metals. The value of biological diversity, the implications of species extinction and corrective measures. Human ecology is an educational philosophy that applies knowledge from multiple disciplines to address environmental and social problems.

Environmental ethics and “sustainable solutions”. The implications associated with human induced climate change and loss of stratospheric ozone, as well as, required solutions. The effective ways to bring about sustainable changes through social, political, economic policies and individual initiatives.

What is human ecology? - Human ecology is a representation of our position within a reality. In some ways this is a contradictory position. On the one hand, ecology is a small branch of human knowledge. On the other, ecology describes the interactions of animals and plants while considering humans as being animals. Perhaps animals with highly developed forms of communication and social behaviour, but animals in terms of our needs to breathe, to stay at a comfortable temperature, to drink, to eat, and to predict the actions required to acheive any of these things.

Human Ecology Abstracts

Critical Human Ecology: Historical Materialism and Natural Laws - York, Richard. Mancus, Philip
Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. Abstract: Laying the foundations for a critical human ecology (CHE) that combines the strengths of the human ecology tradition in environmental sociology with those of historical materialism. We develop our case for the importance of a critically informed human ecology by examining its position vis-a-vis critical theories with respect to three key meta-theoretical issues: materialist versus idealist conceptualizations in the social sciences, the respective importance and roles of historical and a historical causal explanations, and the difference between structuralist and functionalist interpretations of phenomena. This project also involves critiquing the ahistorical and functionalist aspects of traditional human ecology. We explore the theoretical potential of critical human ecology for analyzing the sustainability of human populations.

Ecology and Human Ecology: A Comparison of Theories in the Biological and Social Sciences by Peter J Richerson, American Ethnologist, Vol. 4, No.1.(1977) - Ecology has been used frequently by social scientists as a source of theoretical models, and biological ecologists have often applied their theory to human populations.

Geography as Human Ecology - A Decade of Progress in a Quarter Century
Philip W. Porter, University of Minnesota
The contest between geographers and their adversaries is identical with the old controversy between historical and physical methods. One party claims that the ideal aim of science ought to be the discovery of general laws; the other maintains that it is the investigation of phenomena themselves.

Changes in human ecology and behavior in relation to the emergence of diarrheal diseases, including cholera - M M Levine and O S Levine
Department of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore.
Abstract: Enteric infections, particularly due to bacterial pathogenes, are readily transmitted under these circumstances. In contrast, the majority of inhabitants of industrialized countries live in a sanitary environment that generally discourages the transmission of enteric pathogenes, particularly bacteria. In both these ecologic niches, changes in human ecology and behavior are leading to the emergence of certain enteric infections.

Human ecology and behavior and sexually transmitted bacterial infections
K K Holmes, Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle.
Abstract: The three direct determinants of the rate of spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are sexual behaviors, the mean duration of infectiousness, and the mean efficiency of sexual transmission of each STD. Underlying ecological and behavioral factors that operate through one or more of these direct determinants lie on a continuum, ranging from those most proximate back to those more remote (in time or mechanism) from the direct determinants.

Human Ecology The Science of Social Adjustment
THE interest of men of science in the study of human relationships is growing apace, much to the benefit of sociology. Sociologists have in the past been far too prone to assume that their subject can be developed in the library; social philosophy has steadily progressed as a result, while social science, properly so called, has lagged behind.

Human Ecology is literally a science of the ecology of human populations, especially of the variety of contemporary populations living in Asian and Oceania countries. "How the population of living organism utilize the environment to procure food/nutrition and to reproduce next generations?", the other is a question relatively emphasized in the ecology of human, "how the human activities impact the environment (including earth), and how the environment modified as such impact the human health/survival.

Abstract: interaction together with ideas of late 19th century geographers merged
into the human ecology model of the Chicago School of Sociology.

Abstract - Kees Jansen
This detailed case study draws on political economy, human ecology, critical realism ... different points of view.' Norman Long (Professor of Rural Sociology)

Human ecology is an educational philosophy that applies knowledge from multiple disciplines to address environmental and social problems.

Michigan State University - College of Human Ecology - College of Human Ecology offers programs in the departments of family and child ecology, human nutrition and human environment and design.

College of Human Ecology at Kansas State University.

The College of Human Ecology (HumEc) is a statutory college at Cornell University. Studies include consumer science, nutrition, health economics, public policy, human development and textiles, each part of the discipline of human ecology.

The new School of Human Ecology has been established at The University of Texas at Austin, a change in status for a long-standing department at the university. The conversion to school status brings human ecology to a competitive level with other stand-alone colleges and schools of human ecology across the nation.

What's Human Ecology?
What exactly is human ecology? Here’s the short answer: it’s about us. Humans. What we need to be physically and emotionally healthy. How we care for our children, our older people, our families. How we design our living and working spaces. How we feed and clothe ourselves. How we gather and celebrate. How we keep our bodies healthy and strong. Basically, anything that helps people lead better lives is human ecology. It's a varied field with a rich history and a fantastic future. Although the past century has seen incredible swings in what we value as necessary and important, one basic truth is timeless: Human beings have needs that are neglected to our peril. The field of human ecology is concerned with these needs and how we as individuals, families and organizations meet those needs.

Human Ecology - Basic Concepts for Sustainable Development - Gerald G. Marten
"One would be hard-pressed to find a clearer, more complete, and more usable introductory text for the application of systems concepts to human ecology. Covers a wealth of ideas and concepts in a relatively short text. It would make an excellent backbone for a high school- or college-level introduction to human ecology, providing an explanation of concepts, which an educator could supplement with specific issues that are most relevant to the students."
-- Journal of Applied Environmental Education and Communication
"A highly original contribution to the literature of human ecology.the first introductory human ecology text to offer students a systematic framework. A useful tool for helping students to understand the extremely complex interactions between humans and their environment.clear and precise. Simple, straightforward language, vivid illustrative examples, and maximum use of figures to illustrate key points."  - Human Ecology Review.

The Department of Psychology and Human Ecology (Cameron) offer programs leading to a Bachelor of Science degree with majors in Psychology and Human Ecology. The graduate program awards the Master of Science in Behavioral Science with a specialty in Psychology or alternate.

University of Maryland Eastern Shore - The Department of Human Ecology prepares students for careers, graduate study, and leadership roles that will allow them to make contributions that will enhance the quality of life of individuals and families in diverse communities. Our focus is to empower individuals to cope with change, explore new technologies, and manage resources wisely. Providing exemplary education, outreach, and research programs that are integrative and ecologically focused is our commitment. Faculty are actively involved in professional organizations, ensuring that the curricula are progressive and applicable. State-of-the-art labs provide hands-on experiences for students in textiles, apparel construction, nutrition and dietetics, and child development. The department offers an undergraduate degree in Human Ecology with options in the following areas: Child Development, Dietetics, Nutrition, Family and Consumer Sciences, Family and Consumer Sciences Education, and Fashion Merchandising.

Ecology Guide - Human Ecology Article - Understanding Human Ecology
Human ecology is the term that is used to describe the study of humanity. Human ecology involves every aspect of a person’s life from the way they eat to where they live. The study of human ecology has found ways to enhance homes, offices and design areas of recreation that will improve how you live and feel mentally, emotionally and physically. It has helped to improve the relationship between children and their parents by helping them understand each other better. The future generations depend on the study of human ecology to make the earth a better place for them to grow and thrive.

Advances in Human Ecology - Editor: L. Freese.
This series publishes theoretical, empirical, and review papers on scientific human ecology. Human ecology is interpreted to include structural and functional changes in human social organization and sociocultural systems. These changes may be affects by, interdependent with, or identical to changes in ecosystemic, evolutionary, or ethological processes, factors, or mechanisms.
Three degrees of scope are included in this interpretation: (1) the adaptation of sociocultural forces to bioecological forces; (2) the interactions, or two-way adaptations, between sociocultural and bioecological forces; (3)the integration, or unified interactions, of sociocultural with bioecological forces.
The goal of the series is to promote the growth of human ecology as an interdisciplinary problem-solving paradigm. Contributions are solicited without regard for particular theoretical, methodological, or disciplinary orthodoxies, and may range across ecological anthropology, ecological economics, ecological demography, ecological geography, epidemiology, and other relevant fields of specialization.

Books On Human Ecology

Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Synthesis Book by Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

Advances in Human Ecology, Volume 8 (Advances in Human Ecology) Book by L. Freese

Human Ecology: Following Nature's Lead Book by Frederick Steiner

Fundamentals of Human Ecology Book by Edward J. Kormondy, Daniel E. Brown

Environmental Change and Human Survival: Some Dimensions of Human Ecology Book by Stephen Molnar, Iva M. Molnar

Human Ecology : A Theoretical Essay Book by Amos H. Hawley

Public Health and Human Ecology Book by John M. Last

The Encyclopedia of Human Ecology Book by Richard M. Lerner, Lawrence B. Schiamberg, Pamela M. Anderson, Julia R. Miller (Editor)

Case Studies in Human Ecology (The Language of Science)
Book by Daniel G. Bates (Editor), Sarah H. Lees (Editor)

Global Ecology in Human Perspective Book by Charles H. Southwick

Research in Human Ecology: An Interdisciplinary Overview
Book by Luc Hens, Richard J. Borden, Shosuke Suzuki, Gianumberto Caravello (Editors)

The Sociology of Energy, Buildings and the Environment : Constructing Knowledge, Designing Practice (Global Environmental Change) Book by Simon Guy, Elizabeth Shove

Human Ecology Book by Gerald G. Marten.

Human Ecology Bibliography

Morren, G.E.B., 1986, The Miyanmin: Human Ecology of a New GuineaSociety, Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, pp. 13-14.

Smith, E.A., 1983, "Evolutionary Ecology and the Analysis of Human Social Behavior," in R. Dyson-Hudson and M.A. Little, eds., Rethinking Human Adaptation: Biological and Cultural Models, Boulder: Westview,pp. 23-40.

Vayda, A.P., 1995b, "Failures of Explanation in Darwinian Ecological Anthropology..." Philosophy of the Social Sciences 25: 219-249, 360-375.

Harris, M., 1979, Cultural Materialism, New York: Random House, pp.165-221 (on structuralism).

Gailey, C.W., 1983, "Categories without Culture: Structuralism, Ethnohistory and Ethnocide," Dialectical Anthropology 8: 241-250.

Thomas, N., 1991, "Against Ethnography," Cultural Anthropology 6: 306-322.

Stoutland, F., 1986, "Reasons, Causes, and Intentional Explanation,"Analyse & Kritik 1: 28-55.

Vayda, A.P., 1987a, "Explaining What People Eat: A Review Article, "Human Ecology 15: 493-510; M. Harris, 1987, "Comment on Vayda's Review of Good to Eat: Riddles of Food and Culture," Human Ecology15: 511-517; and A.P. Vayda, 1987b, "Reply to Harris," Human Ecology15: 519-521.

Vayda, A.P., and B.B. Walters, 1999, "Against Political Ecology," Human Ecology 27: 167-179.

Falvo, D., 2000, "On Modeling Balinese Water Temple Networks as Complex Adaptive Systems," Human Ecology 28: 641-649.

D'Andrade, R., 1995, The Development of Cognitive Anthropology, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 193-199 (the section on "Reasoning," dealing with reasoning as a human universal and its relation to cultural models).

Merchant, C. (1980). The death of nature: Women, ecology, and the scientific revolution. New York: Harper and Row.

Milbrath, L.W. (1989). Envisioning a sustainable society: Learning our way out. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.