Social scientists do not simply ask ‘What do people want?’, though this market-research type of question is frequently assumed to be their prime interest by architects, town planners, engineers and other environmental professionals. Rather, social scientists try to understand why people behave and think as they do. In the man—environment context, some recent research areas have included: man’s response to natural hazards such as volcanoes and earthquakes; his evaluation of nuisances such as air, water and noise pollution; the way he reaches decisions such as how to travel to work or where to buy a house. Some studies have focused on ‘the masses’, others on key decision-takers such as industrialists, planning officers and housing managers whose actions affect both the lives we all lead and the environment within which we live. Understanding the ‘man’ element of man—environment relationships requires the use of a whole battery of research tools — one of which is the social survey.
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- Social surveys
C. G. Bentham
M. J. Moseley
- Springer Netherlands
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