Human Ecology Abstracts
Books on Human
Ecology, Human Ecology
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-à-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.
CHE breaks with the idealism of
Western Marxism that has dominated academic neo-Marxist thought, advocating the pursuit of
a materialist, scientific methodology in dialectical perspective for the explanation of
social and ecological change. 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. Problems have attended these
cross-disciplinary enterprises, including inappropriate uses of teleological models and a
failure by both biologists and social scientists to understand the theoretical
implications of culture and technology for ecological models. Attention to these problems
will increase the applicability of ecological theories in the social sciences.
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.... While physical science arises from the logical
and aesthetic demands of the human mind, cosmography has its source in the personal
feelings of man towards the world, towards the phe nomena surrounding him. We may call
this an "affective" impulse in contrast to the aesthetic impulse. Goethe
expressed this idea with admirable clearness: "It seems to me that every phenomenon,
every fact, itself is the really interesting object. Whoever explains it, or connects it
with other events, usually only amuses himself or makes sport of it, as, for instance, the
naturalist or historian. But a single action or event is interesting, not because it is
explainable, but because it is true." -F. Boas, 1887
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: Human populations throughout the world can be found in diverse conditions. A
proportion of the population of developing countries lives in deprived conditions
characterized by ramshackle housing, lack of piped water and sanitation, and widespread
fecal contamination of the environment. 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. Relevant factors in developing areas include urbanization
(leading to periurban slums), diminished breastfeeding, and political upheaval that
results in population migrations. In industrialized areas, large-scale food production
(e.g., enormous poultry farms), distribution, and retailing (e.g., fast-food chains)
create opportunities where widespread and extensive outbreaks of food-borne enteric
infection can ensue if a breakdown in food hygiene occurs.
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. Most remote and least modifiable are the historical stages of
economic development that even today conspicuously influence patterns of sexual behavior.
Next are the distribution and changing patterns of climate, hygiene, and population
density; the global population explosion and stages of the demographic transition; and
ongoing changes in human physiology (e.g., menarche at younger age) and culture (e.g.,
later marriage). More proximate on the continuum are war, migration, and travel; and
current policies for economic development and social welfare. Most recent or modifiable
are technologic and commercial product development (e.g., oral contraceptives);
circumcision, condom, spermicide, and contraception practices; patterns of illicit drug
use that influence sexual behaviors; and the accessibility, quality, and use of STD health
care. These underlying factors help explain why the curable bacterial STDs are epidemic in
developing countries and why the United States is the only industrialized country that has
failed to control bacterial STDs during the AIDS era.
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
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
Human ecology is an educational
philosophy that applies knowledge from multiple disciplines to address environmental and