Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: March 15, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939645 | Print ISBN: 9781412916080 | Online ISBN: 9781412939645| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this handbook
Chapter 45: Human Ecology
STEPHEN J. APPOLD
Human ecology Ecology is defined as “the science of the economy of animals and plants; that branch of biology which deals with the relations of living organisms to their surroundings, their habits and modes of life, etc.” (Oxford English Dictionary 2000). The first half of that definition implies an impulse toward efficient interdependence. Applied to humans, the second half of that definition implies much more than what is usually meant by the term human ecology , however. A consideration of the relations of individuals to their surroundings, their habits, and modes of life would include almost all aspects of what are now seen as “contextual effects.” It would include some aspects of developmental psychology (e.g., Barker and Wright 1954) and much of environmental psychology (Bechtel 1997). These are part of what is sometimes called autoecology (treating organisms individually as opposed to synecology , the study of collectivities), a field of ...