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With the movement of women en masse into the workforce over the last half century, the staggering unemployment and underemployment among working class men, the growing dependence on two incomes for middle and working class families, the sheer number of single mothers rearing children alone, and the valuable and often distinctive contributions women make beyond the private sphere, we can no longer simply point to the traditional breadwinner-husband and homemaker-wife as the obvious fix for our current ecological crisis, as much as some of us may like to.

Majors – School of Human Ecology

We can no longer take for granted the family and community sustenance that women provided as a matter of course—and gratis! If the work of the family, that essential work of caring for the dependent and vulnerable, of forming the minds and hearts of both child and parent, was once regarded as among the most essential of all labors, it no longer is.

Let us work to inspire and incentivize fathers to devote themselves to their families; to counter the financial and professional pressures mothers especially feel as many now seek to work while prioritizing caregiving; and to think creatively about how technology and business ingenuity can help create an economy that is on the side of child-rearing families, especially those that are struggling. Religious believers understand better than most that both children and the work of the family are indispensable public goods.

Thus it is religious believers and others of good will who must be the ones thinking creatively about how to publicly support, endorse, affirm, and celebrate the work of care and formation that takes place in the home. By seeking ways to offset the real financial sacrifices parents make to rear their children well, we recognize that the service parents render is not just to their children or themselves but to the whole of society.

Finding innovative ways to accommodate the needs of the family would not only serve children and marriages well but would also benefit the workplace and the culture at large. It could serve to rewire the world of work so that persons were attended to as a priority, both as the subjects of their work but also within the broader decision-making processes of an enterprise, ensuring that the drive for efficiency and profits does not supersede the more human quest to serve the person above all.

More practically, greater flexibility and respect for the demands of the family could translate into decreased rates of burnout, higher morale, and, some studies have shown, greater profits over the long run.

Chapter 1 - Introduction

But family-encouraging policies on the part of the government and the business sector are certainly not all that is needed to restore our social ecology. Mothers and fathers need other supportive institutions—vibrant schools, churches, and other cells of civil society—to help them form their children in the virtues they need to use their freedom well. So, my second challenge is that we get behind the renaissance of classical education that is now taking place across our country.

By steeping children in the very best Western civilization has to offer and by intentionally inculcating in them the moral and intellectual virtues children need to flourish, classical schools are, one by one, recreating the ecosystem of moral support parents need for their children and for themselves.

Concept of Human Ecology

These schools like, for instance, St. These communities strive together for the common good and encourage each other to think more about their social duties and less about their rights.


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They rekindle the habits of mind and heart needed for good citizenship both in our country and in the hereafter. Classical schools have eager students and parents, they provide an unrivaled curriculum, and the best of them teach character education that instructs children in both the language and the practice of virtue. They often even possess buildings left abandoned by failed parochial schools.

But they need more funding—and they need an entree into poorer communities.

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This leads to my final—and most difficult—challenge. If the work of social theorists such as Charles Murray and Robert Putnam and the ascendancy of political leaders like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have taught us anything about what ails our country today, it is that the turmoil wrought by the deterioration of social ecology is so deep in some communities that it threatens the very fiber of our republic.

The causes of this ecological deterioration are complex and we will be debating them for decades , yet they clearly include eruptions that are both economic think: globalization and cultural think: the sexual revolution.

The Origins of Human Ecological Theory

Though I lack the space to catalogue the harms of either, it is now indisputable that the poor and working classes have been the hardest hit by both. But I do want to offer one final thought about what we can do on a local level to revitalize social ecology in our most devastated communities. Local churches and other places of worship have long been the social organisms to which people turn in times of need and that once served as anchoring institutions, integrating individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Of course, churches must always and primarily be vehicles of spiritual and moral formation and sacramental grace; as such, churches have the capacity to restore communities through revitalizing the persons within them. But even beyond this, churches could serve as centers of ecological revitalization through more effectively matching those in need with those who need to give, from the parishes themselves and wealthier sister parishes, but also through a more effective and intentional engagement with private, public, and business resources throughout the broader community.

And to be quite clear: this is not just to assist and accompany the poor and marginalized. It is also for the good of the souls of the rich, tempted as we may be to resign ourselves to the decadence of our age. We all know how much those conditions are ailing right now.

If we are to revitalize these social conditions—the social ecology—it will take each of us setting about the interior struggle, day by day, intentionally teaching our children how to live lives of generosity and virtue, and eschewing our own comfort to help the less fortunate. The species are considered on the basis of equality or sinecology all of them have the same interests , while in human ecology a species is determined by its relation to a reference group--autoecology or anthropocentric ecology.

In , J. Thompson bridged the gap between biological knowledge and social sciences; in , H. Barrows identified human ecology as a component of geography; in , L. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. Blog at WordPress. Take part in a diverse international and interdisciplinary gathering. Contribute to a wide range of formal and informal exchanges in a relaxed atmosphere.

Human Ecology

Like previous SHE meetings, it is intended to bring together a diverse group of educators, researchers and practitioners who utilize, or are interested in, interdisciplinary and ecological approaches. We look forward to an exciting program with an excellent range of speakers, symposia, round-tables and individual presentations.

Suggested Themes : What themes for symposia, round-table discussions, or paper sessions would you like to see included in the program?


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The organizer is responsible for the coordination of participants. Usually two discussion leaders are designated and 6 — 10 participants are assigned to a thematic roundtable. Yes, I would like to be placed on a Roundtable Discussion Group.