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The social account of the space: Built environment from the standpoint of sociology



The issue of the relationship between space and society is one which has been ignored in the studies of both space masters (i.e. architects, urban and landscape designers, theoreticians and researchers in this filed), and society experts (i.e. sociologists, anthropologist and so on). Environmental sciences have largely filed to present a convincing theoretical framework for society, and similarly, in social sciences the concept of space and built environment has not reached a persuasive level. This failure is a missing link which is hard to deal with, but if tackled, it undoubtedly addresses many unknown problems of the built environment. In environmental sciences, there has been an effort in the past few decades to approach society in a more sensitive way. This has brought new interests in studies of built environment to pay more attention to understanding the views of sociologists on the subject of space. In this paper, however, there is an intention to focus on the relation between society and environment from the standpoint of sociology and anthropology. This is an attempt to establish a foundation for further pursuit of the missing links between spatio-environment concepts and their social counterparts by focusing on the ideas of a few prominent sociologist and anthropologists, and comparing them to contemporary thoughs on the relationship between space and society. The paper concludes that unless a new understanding of space-society is a achieved, the efforts in this filed would suffer from a constant lack of an appropriate framework.
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The first part briefly describes and summarizes Man-environment studies. The second applies an approach typical of this field to the specific example of urban neighborhoods. Man-environment research has 2 major impacts on the understanding of neighborhoods: their subjective definition and the role of perceived homogeneity. - Author