Ecology’s Contribution to Cross-National Theory and Research

  • W. Parker Frisbie
  • Abdullah H. M. Al-Khalifah
Part of the The Springer Series on Demographic Methods and Population Analysis book series (PSDE)


A common criticism of sociological human ecology, as well as of American sociology in general, is that it is provincial, that the theoretical and empirical emphases of the discipline have reflected a too narrow concern with American society (Frisbie 1989; Guest 1984; London 1987). While ecologists are perhaps as guilty as any other group of American scholars in this regard, even a partial survey of the literature written since the publication of Hawley’s classic Human Ecology (1950) reveals that ecology’s contribution in the area of cross-national research is far from negligible. Therefore, rather than recite a litany of complaints about gaps in our knowledge due to “provincialism,” the purpose of this discussion is to highlight some of the numerous contributions of ecology to our understanding of social structure and processes outside the borders of the United States. The intent is not to provide an “ecological apologetic.” Rather, we hope that the result of this abridged accounting of ecological research in a cross-national setting will delineate substantive areas in which ecology has laid a useful foundation for further empirical investigation. Conversely, this accounting will implicitly suggest substantive areas left essentially untouched by ecological research.


Social Force American Sociological Review Residential Segregation Ecological Theory Human Ecology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Parker Frisbie
    • 1
  • Abdullah H. M. Al-Khalifah
    • 2
  1. 1.Population Research CenterUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyImam Muhammad Ibn Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia

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