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Human ecology is a theory of human population adaptation to the environment in time, space, and social structure. Initially associated with theories of the spatial and social organization of cities, contemporary human ecology is considered a general theory of social organization that encompasses earlier urban ecological approaches. The history of human ecology is divided between the traditional period, often associated with the Chicago School, and the contemporary period, associated with sociocultural human ecology and neo-orthodox human ecology.

All approaches share common characteristics: a concern with macrosocial structure, the centrality of community as a theoretical object of study, and a holistic conception of macrosocial community structure. This holistic approach is often summarized as an interaction among four major analytic components: population, organization, environment, and technology, termed the ...

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