Consequential Distortions of Robert Park's Theory of Human Ecology

Jeffrey Bridger, Jeffrey Ulmer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter seeks to contribute to the issues in the sociology of knowledge by providing a detailed analysis of Robert Park's perspectives on human ecology and the consequences of the interpretations of his perspective for subsequent work in that area. There are numerous summaries of Park's ecological approach. These summaries contain a general narrative structure in which common events and sequences are reiterated and offered as Park's actual approach. The mythic facts that became attached to Park's views precluded further serious readings of Park's original texts because the secondary critical texts had come to be defined as accurate representations. In that way, readers of the critical texts were positioned as inadvertent colluders and became part of the perpetuation of the collective delusions created by Park's critics, thereby participating in exempting Park's views from further consideration. This is precisely how mythic facts operate and acquire agency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Faultline of Consciousness
Subtitle of host publicationa View of Interactionism in Sociology
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9781351482868
ISBN (Print)9780202306469
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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