Sociology Index

Human Ecology

Human ecology refers to the interdisciplinary project to systematically study human and environment relations. Human ecology is about the various ways relationship between the individual and the natural environment is mediated through society. Human ecology includes the study of the detrimental effects of modern civilization on the environment, with a view toward prevention or reversal through conservation. Because of the recognition of humanity as a participant in ecosystems, the environmental movements are centered on human ecology, health, and human rights. Human ecology as a subject of study helps the student 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. Ecology describes the interactions of animals and plants. 

Human Ecology examines the roles of social, cultural, and psychological factors in the maintenance or disruption of ecosystems and investigates the effects of population density on health, social organization, and environmental quality.

Human ecology is an educational philosophy that applies knowledge from multiple disciplines to address environmental and social problems. Finding Our Niche is a hopeful exploration of humanity’s place in the natural world, one that focuses on how we can heal and reconcile our unique human ecologies to achieve more sustainable and just societies.

What is human Ecology?

Human ecology is the branch of sociology that is concerned with studying the relationships between human groups and their physical and social environments. 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. Anything that helps people lead better lives is human ecology.

The field of human ecology is concerned with these needs and how we as individuals, families and organizations meet those needs. What we need to be physically and emotionally healthy, and How we care for our children, our older people, our families? Nature of Human Ecology Human ecology involves the complex interaction of the ecological system with the human social system (Rambo, 1983; Hawley, 1986).

In ecosystems, thermodynamics and biogeochemical cycles govern the web of transfers of energy and mass. Organisms grow by symbiosis with each other and with the inorganic parts of the system, by utilizing energy and by reproducing themselves. The use of technology enables the social system to exist and propagate itself (Ellen, 1982).

Human ecology responds to decisions to increase consumption of energy and goods, and to seek new sources of fuel, food, medicines and lebensraum. Thus, relationships between nature and society are often characterized by disequilibrium (Bennett, 1976).

Human Ecology Abstracts

Critical Human Ecology: Historical Materialism and Natural Laws - York, Richard. Mancus, Philip. Abstract: Laying the foundations for a critical human ecology that combines the strengths of the human ecology tradition in environmental sociology with those of historical materialism. 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. Ecology has been used frequently by social scientists as a source of theoretical models, and biological ecologists have 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. Abstract: Changes in human ecology and behavior are leading to the emergence of certain enteric infections.

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.

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.

The College of Human Ecology 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.

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.

The Department of Psychology and Human Ecology 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. 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.
The future generations depend on the study of human ecology to make the earth a better place for them to grow and thrive. 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.

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.

Human Ecology Journals

Human Ecology: Interdisciplinary Journal publishes papers probing the complex and varied systems of interaction between people and their environment. Addresses adaptive problems in urban environments and the interrelationship between technological and environmental changes. Research papers from such diverse fields as anthropology, geography, psychology, biology, sociology, and urban planning are welcomed. A Book Review section also appears in the journal. All submissions are peer reviewed. Human Ecology is published by Springer Science and Business Media.

Journal of Human Ecology (J. Hum. Ecol.) is a peer reviewed, internationally circulated journal. It publishes reports of original research, theoretical articles and timely reviews, and brief communications in the interdisciplinary field of Human Ecology. Reviews of books and other publications relevant to Human Ecology are also published.

Human Ecology Review is a refereed journal published twice a year by the Society for Human Ecology. The Journal publishes peer-reviewed research and theory on the interaction between humans and the environment and other links between culture and nature, essays and applications relevant to human ecology.

The Society for Human Ecology (SHE) is an international interdisciplinary professional society that promotes the use of an ecological perspective in both research and application. -

The Friends of Human Ecology Forum is an electronic network set up, a cyber meeting room for Human Ecologists-current and past students, academics, professors, employers, employees and in general people from various disciplines who have a slight or strong interest in environmental, social, cultural, ecological...and Human Ecological issues. -

Centre for Human Ecology is an independent organisation carrying out action, research and education for personal development, ecological sustainability and social justice. Centre for Human Ecology is rooted in Scotland, while also being international. Our work is focused in the country that is our home; our achievements have far wider impact: directly and as we share experiences and insights with people and organisations across the world.

Human Ecology Bibliography

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

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.

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.

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

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

Research in Human Ecology: An Interdisciplinary Overview - Luc Hens, Richard J. Borden, Shosuke Suzuki, Gianumberto Caravello.