Social Ecology in the Digital Age

Social Ecology in the Digital Age

Solving Complex Problems in a Globalized World

1st Edition - October 16, 2017

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  • Author: Daniel Stokols
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128141885
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128031148

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Social Ecology in the Digital Age: Solving Complex Problems in a Globalized World provides a comprehensive overview of social ecological theory, research, and practice. Written by renowned expert Daniel Stokols, the book distills key principles from diverse strands of ecological science, offering a robust framework for transdisciplinary research and societal problem-solving. The existential challenges of the 21st Century - global climate change and climate-change denial, environmental pollution, biodiversity loss, food insecurity, disease pandemics, inter-ethnic violence and the threat of nuclear war, cybercrime, the Digital Divide, and extreme poverty and income inequality confronting billions each day - cannot be understood and managed adequately from narrow disciplinary or political perspectives. Social Ecology in the Digital Age is grounded in scientific research but written in a personal and informal style from the vantage point of a former student, current teacher and scholar who has contributed over four decades to the field of social ecology. The book will be of interest to scholars, students, educators, government leaders and community practitioners working in several fields including social and human ecology, psychology, sociology, anthropology, criminology, law, education, biology, medicine, public health, earth system and sustainability science, geography, environmental design, urban planning, informatics, public policy and global governance.   Winner of the 2018 Gerald L. Young Book Award from The Society for Human Ecology"Exemplifying the highest standards of scholarly work in the field of human ecology."

Key Features

  • The book traces historical origins and conceptual foundations of biological, human, and social ecology
  • Offers a new conceptual framework that brings together earlier approaches to social ecology and extends them in novel directions
  • Highlights the interrelations between four distinct but closely intertwined spheres of human environments: our natural, built, sociocultural, and virtual (cyber-based) surroundings
  • Spans local to global scales and individual, organizational, community, regional, and global levels of analysis
  • Applies core principles of social ecology to identify multi-level strategies for promoting personal and public health, resolving complex social problems, managing global environmental change, and creating resilient and sustainable communities
  • Underscores social ecology’s vital importance for understanding and managing the environmental and political upheavals of the 21st Century
  • Highlights descriptive, analytic, and transformative (or moral) concerns of social ecology
  • Presents strategies for educating the next generation of social ecologists emphasizing transdisciplinary, team-based, translational, and transcultural approaches


Students, researchers, and professors in ecologically-oriented fields, such as Human ecology, Social ecology, Environmental psychology, Evolutionary and Conservation Biology, Information and Computer Science, Environmental Science, Earth System Science, Sustainability, Principles of Team Science, Urban Sociology, Urban Planning, Public Policy, Public Health, Epidemiology, Environmental Education, International Relations, Human Geography

Table of Contents

  • 1. Discovering Social Ecology: A Personal Journey
    2. Historical Origins and Conceptual Foundations of Social Ecology
    3. Deriving Core Principles of Social Ecology
    4. Rise of the Internet: Navigating Our Online and Place-Based Ecologies
    5. Promoting Personal and Public Health
    6. Confronting Complex Social Problems
    7. Managing Global Environmental Change
    8. Designing Resilient and Sustainable Communities
    9. Educating the Next Generation of Social Ecologists
    10. Epilogue

Product details

  • No. of pages: 406
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2017
  • Published: October 16, 2017
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128141885
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128031148

About the Author

Daniel Stokols

Daniel Stokols is widely known for his contributions to the fields of social ecology, environmental and ecological psychology, public health, and transdisciplinary team science. He is Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Irvine and served as founding dean of UCI’s School of Social Ecology. Stokols also has served as consultant to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, the W.M. Keck and Robert Wood Johnson Foundations, and several community organizations. He is co-author of Behavior, Health, and Environmental Stress (1986), the National Academy of Sciences report on Enhancing the Effectiveness of Team Science (2015), editor of Perspectives on Environment and Behavior (1977), and co-editor of the Handbook of Environmental Psychology (1987), Environmental Simulation (1993) and Promoting Human Wellness (2002).

Affiliations and Expertise

Research Professor and Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus, School of Social Ecology, University of California, Irvine, USA

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  • James H. Tue Feb 06 2018

    Social Ecology is the future

    SOCIAL ECOLOGY IN THE DIGITAL AGE by Daniel Stokols is the book we have been waiting for. This thoughtful and thought-provoking book is written in accessible prose to be read by students, academics, and ordinary people concerned about the future of our planet earth and the dangerous trajectory many ignore or deny. Humankind needs to honestly identify, analyze, and tackle complex environmental problems in this digital age. The field of Social Ecology, with its transdisciplinary approach, offers hope for the future. A must-read for politicians, planners, government policy makers, and all concerned citizens. James G. Hall, MD

  • Scott B. Wed Jan 24 2018

    Tour de force

    Stokols' magnum opus highlights the significant value of multi-scale, trans-disciplinary research in addressing the complex and wicked problems of modern life. Not solely an excellent synthesis, this book also extends social ecological thinking to the proliferating digital and virtual world we find ourselves in today. Highly recommended.