Environment (Sociology)

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  • The circumstances, objects, individuals, beings, or other influences surrounding an individual. In the field of sociology, the environment surrounding an individual consists of the social and cultural characteristics that are likely to exert an impact on an individual's (or a group of individuals') behaviors and thoughts and to shape the dynamics between the members of the group or between the individual and his or her surroundings. An environment implies the presence of conditions or influences that are in close proximity and directly related to the individual. Family, school, and work are examples of environments that are in close proximity to the individual and that are likely to affect cognitive patterns and behaviors.


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