This sample Human Ecology Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. Like other free research paper examples it is not a custom research paper. If you need help with writing your assignment, please use research paper writing services and buy a research paper on any topic.
The author of this research paper distinguishes human ecology from ecology and focuses on sociological human ecology as elaborated by Amos Hawley. The author outlines the ecological orientation and introduces several examples of applications of human ecological theory to empirical investigations of the demographic processes. Human ecology is concerned with the organizational aspects of human populations that arise from their sustenance-producing activities. The author also outlines the theoretical and conceptual bases of the four referential constructs of human ecology, namely, organization, population, technology, and environment, reviews some of the empirical and theoretical literature spanning more than five decades, and shows in particular that demographic models benefit from using the ecological perspective.
- What Is Human Ecology?
- Sociological Human Ecology
- Human Ecology’s Four Rubrics
Otis Dudley Duncan once wrote about the difficulties defining human ecology and the perspective of human ecology as follows: “Even a provisional statement of [its] concerns will doubtless encounter strong objections from one or another group of scientists and thinkers who regard their studies of man as exemplifying the ecological viewpoint” (1959: p. 679). In this research paper, the author first presents various definitions and approaches of human ecology to illustrate its variant aspects and features. In the major part of this research paper, the author focuses on what he refers to as ‘sociological human ecology,’ discusses its principal dimensions and characteristics, and outlines its conceptual rubrics.
What Is Human Ecology?
The word ecology is from the Greek oikos (oἶko2) meaning ‘household,’ or ‘place to live’; ecology may be defined as the “study of the interrelationships of organisms with their environment and each other” (Smith and Pimm, 2013). One of the earliest statements was that of the Greek philosopher Theophrastus, an associate of Aristotle, who focused on the “interrelationships between organisms and between organisms and their nonliving environment” (Smith and Pimm, 2013). Ernest Haeckel (1868 ) was the first to actually use the term ‘ecology’ in his study of plants, and the term made its way into the English language with the translation of his book in 1876. The term ‘human ecology’ was first used by Robert Park and Ernest Burgess in their Introduction to the Science of Sociology (1924). For the first several decades after the term was first introduced, there was little agreement among sociologists about its meaning and focus (Alihan, 1938; Gettys, 1940; Firey, 1945). Even to this day, there are an assortment of approaches and orientations.
Freese (2001) has noted that the approaches to human ecology mainly differ according to the preferred vantage points of the scholars. He has discussed three orienting perspectives: (1) the biological perspective began with Haeckel who, following Darwin, defined ecology within the context of evolution and the “adaptations of organisms to the biotic and abiotic features of their environments” (Freese, 2001: p. 6974); since humans are living organisms, human ecology then emerged, although biologists per se have taken only a passing interest in the ecology of humans; (2) the metaphorical approach began with theories of community succession that biologists used in studying natural communities; Freese (2001) has written that some sociologists have used ‘nature’ as a metaphor to understand social organization; and (3) the ideological approach started in the 1960s with the genesis of the modern environmental movement worldwide; here the “biological and metaphorical interpretations of ecology are freely interwoven and supplemented with value judgments” (Freese, 2001: p. 6974) more or less in line with ecological science.
The major treatment of human ecology in sociology is Amos Hawley’s book, Human Ecology: A Theory of Community Structure (1950), which to this day is the definitive exposition of the field. Hawley’s book sets out the subject matter of human ecology and its approach. According to Hawley, human ecology deals with “how growing, multiplying beings maintain themselves in a constantly changing but ever restricted environment” (1950: p. 66). For human populations, this requires examining the ways in which individuals act collectively to achieve more effective use of their habitat (Poston and Frisbie, 2005).
Despite this clear and unambiguous sociological statement, some sociologists have ascribed to human ecology perspectives that are inconsistent with Hawley’s thinking and that of McKenzie (1924, 1934, 1968), his predecessor and teacher. Here are three examples.
First, the sociobiologist Pierre van den Berghe has noted that “sociologists who claim to be ecologists … have reduced this specialty to a pedestrian kind of social geography (where) they largely plot social characteristics of people on maps” (1990: p. 174). Second, sociologists John Logan and Harvey Molotch have written that “in human ecology, spatial relations are the analytical basis for understanding urban systems” (1987: p. 4). And, third, the social theorist Manuel Castells has discussed the parallels between Marxian and ecological thinking and has observed that the results obtained by ecology have no more value for establishing a theory of space than a mass of sociocultural correlations (1979: pp. 122–123). Not only is Castells’ comment misguided, it does not capture the important materialistic and organizational similarities and differences between Marxist and ecological theory (see Hawley, 1984).
The above representations of human ecology as focusing on spatial relations are due in part to the unfortunate statement of McKenzie (1924) when he defined human ecology as the “study of the spatial and temporal relations of human beings as effected by the selective, distributive and accommodative forces of the environment.” Hawley noted that although this simple, lucid statement inspired a great amount of empirical investigation, it caused human ecology to be regarded as nothing more than the descriptive study of spatial distributions, an outcome that McKenzie later noted was a misplacement of emphasis. Attention to spatial patterns, McKenzie recorded in his notes, should be subordinate and incidental to the analysis of sustenance relations (see Hawley’s remarks in McKenzie (1968: pp. xiii–xiv); Poston and Frisbie, 1998, 2005).
There are other examples of the misuse or misunderstanding by social scientists of human ecology. Some refer to human ecology as studies using spatial rather than individual units of analysis (Robinson, 1950), as analyses of the physical features of geographic and built-up areas (Zorbaugh, 1929; Suttles, 1972), or as the factor analyses of the characteristics of aggregate units, i.e., factorial ecology (Berry and Rees, 1969).
These illustrations all exemplify Duncan’s observation that “the term ecology is sometimes applied rather casually – even irresponsibly. [Frequently] studies adopting the label bear only a tenuous relationship to any systematic, scientific conception of the field” (Duncan, 1959: p. 680).
Sociological Human Ecology
Human ecology is a field of study grounded in the four referential constructs of population, technology, organization, and environment. The unit of analysis is the human population, circumscribed more or less in a territorial fashion. Its major assumptions are that populations have unit character and integrity, and that properties and attributes of these populations are more than the summation of their component parts (Poston and Frisbie, 1998, 2005).
Human ecology is concerned with the organizational aspects of human populations that arise from their sustenance- producing activities. These activities are necessary for the collective existence of the populations and must be adapted to the changing conditions confronting them. Included are an ever-changing and mediating environment, their technological repertoires, and the size, composition, and distribution of the populations themselves (Duncan, 1959; Frisbie and Poston, 1975, 1978a, 1978b; Poston, 1980, 1981; Poston and Frisbie, 1998, 2005).
Human ecologists address questions such as, what are the structural arrangements that characterize a population’s sustenance-related endeavors? Under what conditions does one form of sustenance structure appear rather than another? What are the consequences for populations of varying configurations of sustenance-producing activities?
The answers lie in the fact that populations survive by virtue of collective organization. Human ecology is concerned with the determinants and consequences of sustenance organization, a consideration, by the way, that addresses the interplay between human ecology and demography. Thus, it is not surprising that much of the empirical literature of human ecology focuses on demographic applications, a point that will be made more evident below.
Human ecology offers demography an aggregate perspective for the analysis of the demographic processes. A fundamental tenet of human ecology is that a population redistributes itself through the vital processes and migration to achieve a balance or equilibrium between its size and life chances (Hawley, 1968: p. 331; also see Davis (1963)). Duncan (1959: p. 708) also emphasized the important ecological connections between organization and population size. Hawley (1950) noted that human populations will adjust their size through any of the demographic processes to maintain an equilibrium with their sustenance organization. Stated in another way, “demographic structure contains the possibilities and sets the limits of organized group life” (Hawley, 1950: p. 78; see also Poston, 1983; Poston and Frisbie, 1998, 2005).
Human Ecology’s Four Rubrics
The author noted above that human ecology is grounded in the four referential constructs of population, technology, organization, and environment and now discusses each of these rubrics separately.
It is not an overstatement that organization is the fundamental element of the subject matter of human ecology. This is so because it is a social organization that mediates the balance among population size, growth, and distribution and the natural environment upon which it depends (Micklin, 1973). Human ecology is concerned with the organizational aspects of human populations arising from their sustenance-producing activities (Frisbie and Poston, 1978b: p. 14). In fact, the two broad goals of human ecology are to establish (1) the causes and (2) the consequences of particular characteristics of sustenance organization in human populations (Gibbs and Martin, 1959: p. 33).
There is major agreement regarding the centrality of organization within human ecology (Duncan, 1959; Hawley, 1950; Gibbs and Martin, 1959; Micklin, 1973; Poston et al., 1984; Namboodiri, 1988, 1994; Poston and Frisbie, 1998, 2005). However, despite its central position in human ecology and in the ecological theory of migration, the idea of sustenance organization was for decades in a primitive state of development both conceptually and empirically. Indeed, most of the research on sustenance organization that ecologists conducted in the 1950s and 1960s treated the concept as if it referred solely to the division of labor. This occurred even though there was little in the ecological literature to warrant such a limitation.
The notion of organization in human ecology is multifaceted. A major dimension of sustenance organization involves what Hawley referred to as the “arrangement of differentiated parts suited to the performance of a given function or set of functions” (1950: p. 178). This is sustenance differentiation, i.e., the extent to which the population is differentiated in its sustenance activity.
Sustenance differentiation consists of two elements: (1) the number of activities and (2) the degree of uniformity in the distribution of the population across the activities. A high degree of sustenance differentiation obtains when there are a relatively large number of activities characterizing the population and when the population members are evenly distributed across these activities (Gibbs and Poston, 1975).
Scholars since Durkheim (1893 ) have included this dimension as a major component of the division of labor. There are many measures of sustenance differentiation, six of which have been elaborated by Gibbs and Poston (1975).
Another dimension of sustenance organization is functional interdependence; it can be combined with sustenance differentiation to form the other side of the division of labor (Gibbs and Poston, 1975). The degree of functional interdependence in a population depends on (1) the number of exchange linkages, (2) the variety of products involved, and (3) the volume of exchange flows (Eberstein and Frisbie, 1982). Empirical indicators of functional interdependence are often based on commodity-flow data.
A third dimension of sustenance organization is the volume of sustenance produced by the population, that is, the degree of productivity of the particular configuration of sustenance activities.
A fourth dimension of sustenance organization is the degree of efficiency of the sustenance organization. Given the level of sustenance produced, how efficiently does this occur? How much effort is required to produce the sustenance, whatever its volume?
A final structural characteristic or dimension of sustenance organization is the degree to which population members are engaged in sustenance-related pursuits (Poston and Johnson, 1971; Martin and Poston, 1972, 1976). What patterns of utilization of population members characterize the organization of one ecological unit versus another, especially with regard to ascribed statuses? How fully realized are the potential contributions of population members? To what extent do inequalities exist in the population by ascribed statuses? The degree to which populations differentiate by ascribed statuses in allocating sustenance roles to their members is an important dimension of sustenance organization, especially if the analyst is interested in sustenance productivity and other input-related functions (Poston and Frisbie, 1998, 2005).
It goes without saying that of the four ecological concepts, population is the most advanced in terms of conceptual and operational detail. This is easily understood since an entire specialization, demography, is devoted to the study of population characteristics and dynamics. However, with few exceptions (Poston and White, 1978; Frisbie and Poston, 1978b; Namboodiri, 1994; Poston and Bouvier, 2010), ecologists seldom examine dimensions of the population as influences on population redistribution. Yet it is well known from demographic research that such population variables as age, race, and sex composition have predictable effects on demographic outcomes, especially on migration. Given the very advanced nature of the population rubric, additional attention is not necessary. The details about this rubric may be viewed in any introductory demography text (Poston and Bouvier, 2010).
Of the four basic ecological categories, technology is the most critical for the adaptation of human populations. Lenski has noted that technology is the ‘prime mover’ in the process of social change and adaptation for at least three reasons: (1) it sets the boundaries for feasible social and economic options; (2) technological change appears to be more easily accepted by the population than change in organization or ideology; (3) it is “easier to compare the effects of alternative tools or techniques than it is to compare the effects of alternative systems of social organization or alternative ideologies” (Lenski, 1970: p. 102; Poston and Frisbie, 1998, 2005).
The concept of technology is prominent in ecological and other macrolevel sociological theories. And there is a consensus with respect to its definitions. Three dimensions figure prominently in the definitions: material features (tools, capital equipment, and machines), information (knowledge, techniques, and scientific discovery), and energy. These are the same three ecosystem ‘commodity’ flows that Duncan (1964) identified as basic to the survival of populations.
Scholars have given only minimal attention to applying the technology component of the ecological complex to the study of populations below the societal level. As a consequence, there are few guidelines to suggest points of departure in specifying particular technological applications as foci.
One approximation toward conceptualization is the belief that one of the long-recognized technological keys to the establishment and growth of population aggregates is the presence and development of adequate transportation facilities. More than 100 years ago, Cooley (1894 : pp. 75–83) observed that population and wealth will tend to come together wherever there is a break or an interruption in routes of transportation. The development of transportation facilities partially determines industrial concentration and influences the expansion of local populations (Hawley, 1981). Since the availability of transportation is a major determinant of the ease of access of a population to its environment, a population’s ability to compete with other populations, and the efficiency of sustenance extraction, an important dimension of technology, should involve mobility facilitating technology (Poston and Frisbie, 1998, 2005).
Two empirical indicators of this dimension of technology are the presence of an interstate highway crossing a county (or state or province) and the intersection in the area of two or more interstate highways. While these measures may be ‘obvious,’ the obviousness of their influence does not imply either triviality or simplicity. In fact, there is a large literature dating back to the 1960s that testifies both to the importance and complexity of the impact of interstate arteries on subarea population change in general and change due to migration in particular (Dickinson, 1964; Wheat, 1969; Gauthier, 1970; Fuguitt and Beale, 1976; Briggs, 1980; Lichter and Fuguitt, 1980).
A second kind of technological application deals with the acquisition of sustenance. At a minimum, ecologists need to develop indicators of this dimension that reflect technological inputs affecting both primary and transformative sustenance activities. Many demographers, for instance, have noted that areas for which agricultural enterprise constitutes a major economic base are apt to experience demographic, especially migration, losses as agricultural production becomes increasingly mechanized and productive and capital intensive. However, previous research has found that (1) where production is highly land intensive or (2) where large volume and capital intensive production of food and fiber predominate, positive demographic changes predominate (Frisbie and Poston, 1978b).
Regarding the transformative component of sustenance acquisition, a useful indicator of the employment of available technology is new capital expenditures. These will index at least the hardware and capital-equipment dimension of technology in the manufacturing sector, i.e., the capital goods, equipment, and machines that figure prominently in the definitions of technology cited above. Of course, it is clear that capital may be substituted for labor, so that high levels of new capital expended might well mean a leveling off, if not an outright reduction in, local employment opportunities (Poston and Frisbie, 1998, 2005).
In human ecological terms, the environment is defined as “whatever is external to and potentially or actually influential on a phenomenon under investigation” (Hawley, 1968: p. 330). The concept of environment occupies a central position in the general theoretical framework of human ecology mainly because the environment is the ultimate source of sustenance for a population (Hawley, 1968: p. 330). However, little empirical research in sociological human ecology takes the environment directly into account, perhaps because of its breadth. That is, by definition, the environment “has no fixed content and must be defined anew for each different object of investigation” (Hawley, 1968: p. 330). In fact, some hold that the environment is the “least well conceptualized of the variables constituting the ecological complex” (Berry and Kasarda, 1977: p. 14).
However, close scrutiny of the ecological treatment of the environment reveals an implicit specificity not apparent in the above general definition. The environment comprises not everything external to the phenomenon of interest, but only those externalities that, by virtue of the limits they set on the acquisition of sustenance, affect the life chances of an organized population with a given technological repertoire. As Leo Schnore noted over 50 years ago, “the environment is viewed as a set of limiting conditions, which may be narrow or broad, depending upon the technological devices and modes of organization that prevail in a given population” (Schnore, 1958: p. 628; see also Michelson, 1970). Therefore, the human ecologist should narrow the arena of inquiry to those factors that, in light of existing technology, serve as limiting (or enabling) resources for the adaptation and growth of populations.
The author notes here that it is not useful to consider social and economic activities (or aberrations) of local populations to be part of their environment. Certain of these activities, for example, employment in given industries, are best viewed as aspects of ecological organization. Others, such as crime and deviance, rates of mortality and morbidity, unemployment, education, and income levels, are best conceived as indicators of different aspects of life chances that emerge from a population’s organized efforts to adapt to the environment. In a real sense, the latter variables tend to indicate the degree of success or failure of the adaptive process. In short, they may reveal a disequilibrium between population and life chances. As such, they should be useful in helping to account for variation in a demographic process such as migration and thus should be included in models designed to explain migration. But they should not be conceptualized as aspects of the environment.
Despite the difficulties that arise in attempts to give conceptual and operational substance to the concept, it is clear that the ecological environment has two broad and distinct dimensions: the physical and the social. Hawley has written that the environment “includes not only the physical and biotic elements of an occupied area but also the influences that emanate from other organized populations in the same and in other areas. In certain circumstances the latter acquire a more critical importance than the former” (1981: p. 9).
Specifically, Hawley distinguished two dimensions, the biophysical and the ecumenic. The “former includes physiographic features, climate, soil characteristics, plant and animal life, mineral and other materials,” and so forth. In contrast, the ecumenic refers to the “ecosystems or cultures possessed by peoples in adjacent areas and beyond” (Hawley, 1986: p. 14).
Poston et al. (2009) have undertaken an analysis among the states of the United States of the effects of physical climate on net migration. They gathered data on 11 different climate variables and used factor analysis to reduce them to the three dimensions of temperature, humidity, and wind. They showed that the temperature and humidity dimensions were significantly associated with migration, even after controlling for the effects on migration of factors dealing with ecological organization, the social environment, and population (see also Poston and Bouvier, 2010).
In this research paper, the author attempted to distinguish human ecology from ecology, and then to focus on sociological human ecology as mainly elaborated by Hawley (1950, 1998). The author outlined the ecological orientation, and also introduced several examples of applications of human ecological theory to empirical investigations of the demographic processes.
It was necessary to first set out the general orientation of sociological human ecology, mainly because of the fact that even today, despite the immense number of publications providing evidence to the contrary, the field is still misunderstood by many sociologists and social scientists to be either a descriptive exercise or any kind of aggregate analysis. The author showed that some still hold that human ecology represents spatial or aggregate investigations of human phenomena. This representation minimizes considerably the rich sociological context of human ecology and indicates misunderstanding, perhaps even ignorance, of its orientation and subject matter.
The broad theoretical purview of human ecology may be distinguished from a narrower focus of ecological theory on demography. Human ecology is concerned with the organizational aspects of human populations that arise from their sustenance-producing activities. For the purposes of this selection, the author noted that human ecology offers demography a specific aggregate perspective for the analysis of the demographic processes (Poston and Bouvier, 2010).
The last part of this section outlined and articulated the theoretical and conceptual bases of the four referential constructs of human ecology, namely, organization, population, technology, and environment. The author reviewed some of the empirical and theoretical literature spanning more than five decades and showed in particular demographic models of migration benefit from use of the ecological perspective. Accentuated were the explicitly sociological features of the ecological perspective in a demonstration of its fruitful employment in demographic investigations. The strictly spatial studies that so many have thought to be ecological not only are not ecological, but also are usually not sociological. Moreover, they are theoretically lacking and are of little utility for demographic investigations (Poston and Frisbie, 1998, 2005).
- Alihan, M.A., 1938. Social Ecology: A Critical Analysis. Columbia University Press, New York.
- Berry, B.J.L., Kasarda, J.D., 1977. Contemporary Urban Ecology. Macmillan, New York.
- Berry, B.J.L., Rees, P.H., 1969. The factorial ecology of Calcutta. American Journal of Sociology 74, 445–491.
- Briggs, R., 1980. The Impact of Interstate Highway System on Nonmetropolitan Growth. Final Report. U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, D.C.
- Castells, M., 1979. The Urban Question: A Marxist Approach. MIT Press, Cambridge.
- Cooley, C.H., 1894 . The theory of transportation. In: Angell., R.C. (Ed.), Sociological Theory and Social Research. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, New York, pp. 75–83.
- Davis, K., 1963. The theory of change and response in modern demographic history. Population Index 29, 345–366.
- Dickinson, R.E., 1964. City and Region. Routledge & Kegan Paul, London.
- Duncan, O.D., 1959. Human ecology and population studies. In: Hauser, P.M., Duncan., O.D. (Eds.), The Study of Population. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 678–716.
- Duncan, O.D., 1964. Social organization and the ecosystem. In: Faris., R.E.L. (Ed.), Handbook of Modern Sociology. Rand-McNally, Chicago, pp. 37–82.
- Durkheim, Emile, 1893 . The Division of Labor in Society. The Free Press, New York.
- Eberstein, I.W., Frisbie, W.P., 1982. Metropolitan function and interdependence in the U.S. urban system. Social Forces 60, 676–700.
- Firey, W., 1945. Sentiment and symbolism as ecological variables. American Sociological Review 10, 140–148.
- Freese, L., 2001. Human ecology. In: Smelser, N.J., Baltes, P.B. (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences. Elsevier, New York, NY, pp. 6974–6978.
- Frisbie, W.P., Poston Jr., D.L., 1975. Components of sustenance organization and nonmetropolitan population change: a human ecological investigation. American Sociological Review 40, 773–784.
- Frisbie, W.P., Poston Jr., D.L., 1978a. Sustenance differentiation and population redistribution. Social Forces 57, 42–56.
- Frisbie, W.P., Poston Jr., D.L., 1978b. Sustenance Organization and Migration in Nonmetropolitan America. Iowa Urban Community Research Center, University of Iowa, Iowa City.
- Fuguitt, G.V., Beale, C.L., 1976. Population Change in Nonmetropolitan Cities and Towns. USDA Economic Research Service. AER-323.
- Gauthier, H.L., 1970. Geography, transportation, and regional development. Economic Geography 46, 612–619.
- Gettys, W.E., 1940. Human ecology and social theory. Social Forces 18, 469–476. Gibbs, J.P., Martin, W.T., 1959. Toward a theoretical system of human ecology. Pacific Sociological Review 2, 29–36.
- Gibbs, J.P., Poston Jr., D.L., 1975. The division of labor: conceptualization and related measures. Social Forces 53, 468–476.
- Haeckel, Ernst, 1868 . The History of Creation, or, the Development of the Earth and Its Inhabitants by the Action of Natural Causes: A Popular Exposition of the Doctrine of Evolution in General, and of that of Darwin, Goethe and Lamarck in Particular (Translated from the German by E.R. Lankester). Henry S. King & Co, London.
- Hawley, A.H., 1950. Human Ecology: A Theory of Community Structure. Ronald Press, New York.
- Hawley, A.H., 1968. Human ecology. In: Sills, D.L. (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. Crowell, Collier and Macmillan, New York, pp. 328–337.
- Hawley, A.H., 1981. Human ecology: persistence and change. In: Short., J.F. (Ed.), The State of Sociology: Problems and Prospects. Sage, Beverly Hills, pp. 119–140.
- Hawley, A.H., 1984. Human ecological and Marxian theories. American Journal of Sociology 89, 904–917.
- Hawley, A.H., 1986. Human Ecology: A Theoretical Essay. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
- Hawley, A.H., 1998. Human ecology, population, and development. In: Micklin, M., Poston Jr., D.L. (Eds.), Continuities in Sociological Human Ecology. Plenum Press, New York, pp. 11–25.
- Lenski, G.E., 1970. Human Societies. McGraw-Hill, New York.
- Lichter, D.T., Fuguitt, G.V., 1980. Demographic response to transportation innovation: the case of the interstate highway. Social Forces 59, 492–512.
- Logan, J.R., Molotch, H.L., 1987. Urban Fortunes: The Political Economy of Place. University of California Press, Berkeley.
- Martin, W.T., Poston Jr., D.L., 1972. The occupational composition of White females: sexism, racism and occupational differentiation. Social Forces 50, 349–355.
- Martin, W.T., Poston Jr., D.L., 1976. Industrialization and occupational differentiation: an ecological analysis. Pacific Sociological Review 19, 82–97.
- McKenzie, R.D., 1924. The ecological approach to the study of the human community. American Journal of Sociology 30, 287–301.
- McKenzie, R.D., 1934. The field and problems of demography, human geography and human ecology. In: Bernard, L.L. (Ed.), The Fields and Methods of Sociology. R. Long & R. R. Smith, New York, pp. 52–66.
- McKenzie, R.D., 1968. In: Hawley., A.H. (Ed.), Roderick D. McKenzie on Human Ecology: Selected Writings. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
- Michelson, W., 1970. Man and His Environment. Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA.
- Micklin, M., 1973. Introduction: a framework for the study of human ecology. In: Micklin, M., Hinsdale, I.L. (Eds.), Population, Environment and Social Organization: Current Issues in Human Ecology. Dryden Press, pp. 2–19.
- Namboodiri, K., 1988. Ecological demography: its place in sociology. American Sociological Review 53, 619–633.
- Namboodiri, K., 1994. The human ecological approach to the study of population dynamics. Population Index 60, 517–539.
- Park, R.E., Burgess, E.W., 1924. Introduction to the Science of Sociology. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
- Poston Jr., D.L., 1980. An ecological analysis of migration in metropolitan America, 1970–75. Social Science Quarterly 61, 418–433.
- Poston Jr., D.L., 1981. An ecological examination of southern population redistribution, 1970–75. In: Poston Jr., D.L., Weller, R.H. (Eds.), The Population of the South: Structure and Change in Social Demographic Context. The University of Texas Press, Austin, pp. 137–154.
- Poston Jr., D.L., 1983. Demographic change in nonmetropolitan America in the 1960s and 1970s: population change versus net migration change. The Rural Sociologist 3, 28–33.
- Poston Jr., D.L., Bouvier, L.F., 2010. Population and Society: An Introduction to Demography. Oxford University Press, New York.
- Poston Jr., D.L., Frisbie, W.P., 1998. Human ecology, sociology and demography. In: Micklin, M., Poston Jr., D.L. (Eds.), Continuities in Sociological Human Ecology. Plenum Press, New York, pp. 27–50.
- Poston Jr., D.L., Frisbie, W.P., 2005. Ecological demography. In: Poston Jr., D.L., Micklin, M. (Eds.), Handbook of Population. Springer Publishers, New York, pp. 601–623.
- Poston Jr., D.L., Frisbie, W.P., Micklin, M., 1984. Sociological human ecology: theoretical and conceptual perspectives. In: Micklin, M., Choldin., H.M. (Eds.), Sociological Human Ecology: Contemporary Issues and Applications. Westview, Boulder, pp. 91–123.
- Poston Jr., D.L., Gotcher, D.J., Gu, Y., 2009. The effect of climate on migration, United States, 1995–2000. Social Science Research 38, 743–753.
- Poston, D.L., Johnson, G.C., 1971. Industrialization and professional differentiation by sex in the metropolitan southwest. Social Science Quarterly 52, 331–348.
- Poston Jr., D.L., White, R., 1978. Indigenous labor supply, sustenance organization and population redistribution in nonmetropolitan America: an extension of the ecological theory of migration. Demography 15, 637–641.
- Robinson, W.S., 1950. Ecological correlations and the behavior of individuals. American Sociological Review 15, 351–357.
- Schnore, L.F., 1958. Social morphology and human ecology. American Journal of Sociology 63, 620–634.
- Smith, R.L., Pimm, S.L., 2013. “Ecology.” Encyclopædia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. https://www.britannica.com/science/ecology
- Suttles, G., 1972. The Social Construction of Communities. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
- van den Berghe, P.L., 1990. Why most sociologists don’t (and won’t) think evolutionarily. Sociological Forum 5, 173–185.
- Wheat, L.F., 1969. Highway Research Record 277, 9–24.
- Zorbaugh, H., 1929. The Gold Coast and the Slum. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.