Human Ecology

The field of human ecology studies and analyzes patterns of interaction between variables of different kinds—physical, chemical, biotic, social, cultural, and economic—affecting people in relation to each other, other organisms, and their surroundings. Defined in this way, human ecology contributes significantly to the understanding of problems relating to the quality of life. It highlights the full range of human experience directly relating to the quality of life and advances understanding of the interrelationships between the elements of human experiences, including belief systems and cultural traditions, and local and global economic, technical, environmental, and societal conditions. Charles Thornthwaite referred to human ecology as an overall, integrating, and holistic field of study that may be even more all-encompassing than geography. This entry presents interpretations of human ecology ...

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