(noun) The study of how groups of people interact with and adapt to their environment.
Example: A cultural ecologist would study how societies adopt subsistence strategies depending on their environment and social factors.
Audio Pronunciation: (cul·tur·al ecology)
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- Plural: cultural ecologies
- Cultural ecology contends that culture is the primary mechanism by which societies understand and give meaning to their environment.
- Term coined by Julian Steward (1902–1972) and discussed in his work Theory of Culture Change: The Methodology of Multilinear Evolution (1955).
- In addition to Julian Steward, Gregory Bateson (1904–1980), Marvin Harris (1927–2001) and Leslie White (1900–1975) are prominent figures in the study of cultural ecology.
- Also called ecological anthropology.
- Anderson, Kay. 2003. Handbook of Cultural Geography. London: SAGE.
- Barnard, Alan J. 2007. Anthropology and the Bushman. New York: Berg.
- Bateson, Gregory. 1972. Steps to an Ecology of Mind. New York: Ballantine Books.
- Bennett, John W. 1993. Human Ecology as Human Behavior: Essays in Environmental and Development Anthropology. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.
- Bennett, John W. 2003. The Ecological Transition: Cultural Anthropology and Human Adaptation. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.
- Christensen, Karen, and David Levinson. 2003. Encyclopedia of Community: From the Village to the Virtual World. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
- Descola, Philippe, and Gísli Pálsson. 1996. Nature and Society: Anthropological Perspectives. London: Routledge.
- Diamond, Jared M. 2005. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. New York: Norton.
- Dove, Michael R., and Carol Carpenter. 2007. Environmental Anthropology: A Historical Reader. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
- Ellen, Roy F. 1982. Environment, Subsistence, and System: The Ecology of Small-scale Social Formations. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.
- Haenn, Nora, and Richard Wilk. 2002. The Environment in Anthropology. New York: New York University Press.
- Harris, Marvin. 1974. Cows, Pigs, Wars & Witches: The Riddles of Culture. New York: Random House.
- Headland, Thomas N. 1997. “Revisionism in Ecological Anthropology.” Current Anthropology. 38(4): 605.
- Heiser, Charles Bixler. 1990. Seed to Civilization: The Story of Food. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.
- Higman, B. W. 2012. How Food Made History. Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell.
- Katz, Solomon H., and William Woys Weaver. 2003. Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. New York: Scribner.
- McElroy, Ann, and Patricia K. Townsend. 2009. Medical Anthropology in Ecological Perspective. 5th ed. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
- Mennell, Stephen, Anne Murcott, and Anneke H. van Otterloo. 1994. The Sociology of Food: Eating, Diet, and Culture. London: Sage.
- Moran, Emilio F. 2008. Human Adaptability: An Introduction to Ecological Anthropology. 3rd ed. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
- Rappaport, Roy A. 1970. Pigs for the Ancestrors: Ritual in the Ecology of a New Guinea People. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
- Robbins, Paul. 2007. Encyclopedia of Environment and Society. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
- Steward, Julian Haynes. 1955. The Concept and Method of Cultural Ecology.
- Warf, Barney. 2006. Encyclopedia of Human Geography. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
- Department of Anthropology at the University of Alabama – Ecological Anthropology: anthropology.ua.edu
- Cultural Ecology: indiana.edu
- Odum School of Ecology – The University of Georgia: ecology.uga.edu
- Theory + Anthropology – Cultural Ecology: anthrotheory.pbworks.com
- Anthropology and Environment Society – A Section of the American Anthropological Association: aaanet.org
- Institute for Applied Ecology – Ecological Solution for a Healthy Environment: canberra.edu.au
- Sociology of Development – A Section of the American Sociological Association: sociologyofdevelopment.com