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Strangers in a Strange Land

Humans in an Urbanizing World


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Drawing from evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and sociology, this truly interdisciplinary study explores how the drive to find social connection has shaped the size, structure, and organization of human communities from the Stone Age to the post-industrial present.

Focusing on three central factors—the physical environment, social relations at the micro level, and social organization at the macro level—Professor Massey argues that humans are genetically programmed to be physiologically, psychologically, and socially adapted to life in small groups and to organic natural environments.  Despite this, most humans live in dense urban environments.  “As biological organisms,” Massey writes, “we are indeed strangers in a strange land.”

Strangers in a Strange Land is part of the Contemporary Societies series.