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Cultural ecology is the study of how or cultural groups interact with their biophysical environment. With deep roots in the disciplines of geography and anthropology, cultural ecology is an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the origins and development of human–environmental relations in places where people depend on their immediate environment for sustenance and symbolic meaning. The cultural ecology approach argues that human–environmental relations are tied dynamically to demography, technology, food production, and social organization.

Cultural ecology is closely associated with the work of Julian Steward. When Steward first coined the phrase in 1955, he sought to understand “the effect of environment upon culture,” but later clarified his ideas by saying that cultural ecology “is the study of the processes by which a society adapts to its environment.” ...

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