Human Ecology Theory
The Origins Of Human Ecological Theory
The origin of the term ecology comes from the Greek root oikos meaning "home." As a result, the field of home economics, now often called human ecology, has produced much of the contemporary research using this theoretical perspective. Margaret Bubolz and M. Suzanne Sontag (1993) attribute the concept of an ecological approach to the work of Aristotle and Plato, and then to the evolutionary theory of Darwin. They trace the word ecology to Ernest Haeckel, a German zoologist who, in 1869, proposed that the individual was a product of cooperation between the environment and organismal heredity and suggested that a science be developed to study organisms in their environment. Early home economists were major proponents of this theory as their field developed in the early twentieth century applying various disciplines to the study of the family. The theory has since been used by sociologists, anthropologists, political scientists, and economists. This work continues, with the human ecological framework being a major perspective in research and theory development in the twenty-first century.