From Paradigm to Theory to Policy in Human Ecological Perspective
  • Paul R. Eberts
Part of the The Springer Series on Demographic Methods and Population Analysis book series (PSDE)


Over twenty years ago, Micklin (1973:476) admonished human ecologists for paying little attention to cause—effect relationships or operational definitions. Since 1973, the widespread usage of regression and path analysis and other complex statistical techniques in sociology has led to a variety of empirical studies that employ a human ecological framework or a closely related paradigm or theory. Many of these studies now bear the label of “organization ecology” (Aldrich 1979; Hannan and Freeman 1989). Others have applied ecological perspectives to analyses of dynamics in the world’s societies (e.g., Meyer and Hannan 1979; Bollen and Jackman 1989; Boswell and Dixon 1990; London and Robinson 1989; Messner 1989; Muller 1988, 1989; Simpson 1990; Stokes and Anderson 1990; Walton and Ragin 1990; Weede 1989; Wimberley 1990). Despite these empirical advances, sociologists have yet to fulfill Micklin’s mandate for a human ecological framework that can generate general theories that are testable by more specific, path-analytic models.2 In this chapter, I explore directions for moving human ecology’s general paradigm toward testable theoretical models. I suggest ways in which the POET paradigm intersects with other paradigmatic formulations to provide a relatively complete theoretical approach to macro-systems analysis.


Income Inequality American Sociological Review United Nations Development Program System Problem Human Ecology 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul R. Eberts
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Rural SociologyCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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