Theories of Human-Habitat Interaction
DOI link for Theories of Human-Habitat Interaction
Theories of Human-Habitat Interaction book
This chapter begins with a survey of the major Western intellectual currents up to the 1950s and then considers theories that were predominant in the second half of the twentieth century and are current today. Three main themes help organize the theories: environmental determinism, which postulates the determining effect of nature on human society and culture; cultural determinism, which views nature as a mere backdrop; and human adaptation and evolution, which are driven by the dynamic interaction of people and environment. The adaptationist view of human-environment interactions is rooted in Greco-Roman scientific concepts and can be traced to attempts to cure disease and achieve a healthful balance. Until Julian Steward's time, human-environment theories either dealt in broad generalities lacking a firm grounding in empirical research or emphasized lists of cultural traits. Cultural ecology emphasized analyzing social interactions, recording movements, timing work activities, and so forth.