Social Environment

We explain what the social environment of a person or an activity is and how it impacts them. Also, in what areas is the term used.

Two children study in a favorable social environment.Two children study in a favorable social environment.
The social environment ranges from the groups of belonging to the available resources.

What is the social environment?

The social environment It is the social context in which an activity is carried out or a person develops., and that has important repercussions on your destiny. It is also known as the social environment, and is determined by the groups that are involved in the activity or to which the individual belongs, as well as by other economic, historical, educational and work factors.

It is a term used in various disciplines, such as education, psychology, sociology or economics, always based on the idea that the context in which an activity is developed It is essential to understand its development and predict its probable future. Depending on each specific case, the understanding of the social environment will be more or less focused on certain contextual elements, such as the physical environment or interpersonal relationships.

In general, the importance of the social environment It has to do with the availability of resources and opportunities. For example, a study of the school performance of two individuals will yield certain conclusions if it is limited to evaluating what happens inside the classroom, while it will have a much broader and more comprehensive overview if it takes into account the social environment of each one: a student of A well-off home, with assured quality food, opportunities for enriching experiences and a more or less continuous source of family affection is likely to have better school performance than a student with nutritional problems, socially isolated and devoid of affection. In this way, the variables of the social environment are decisive.

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The same can happen when studying business, public health, social psychology and many other topics of human interest. However, there is a risk of falling into deterministic positions, that is, those that condition human destiny to the environment. There are many cases of people and initiatives that were highly successful despite their social environment and not thanks to it.

Therefore, it is important to understand the environment as a set of variables, that is, in a less rigid way. This also allows us to understand how Individuals affect their social environment at the same time that it affects them.. For example, a business can thrive in a depressed neighborhood and bring new life to its streets, generating a positive impact on its economic and urban life. In that case, the business was decisive in shaping the social environment, and not so much the opposite.

The notion of social environment, in any case, is similar to that of habitat in biology and ecology: a set of relationships, factors and resources that affect and are affected by individuals and populations, usually in complex and significant ways.

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  • “Social environment” in Wikipedia.
  • “Social environment” in the Interagency Network for Education in Emergency Situations.
  • “Social environment: introduction” in Public Health Information for Scotland.