American Sociological Association

Place and Environment


Place and Enviornment
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Sociologists examine relationships among physical places, environments, and the welfare of society. They explore how these relationships impact the larger social context, and how individuals and groups affect changes within their environments. Research on place and environment includes relationships among population shifts, health, and the physical world.

Sociologists examine how perceptions influence social practices in physical places whether street corners, subways, parklands, highways, historical monuments, schools, or neighborhoods. Research shows how individuals and groups construct and solve issues that arise about place and space, including crime, economic activity, environmental hazards, sustainable food systems, and racial, ethnic, and class relations. It also shows how inequality impacts the distribution of problems and solutions.  

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