Sociological Environment

Types of people—What kinds of people live here? How do they interact? Are people very similar or do they represent many different backgrounds? Do people from different groups mingle or keep to their own kind?

Social and political climate—Who runs things? What is the power structure? Are people generally liberal or conservative? What are the key local issues? What are the hot buttons—the topics everybody reacts to emotionally?

Economic base and major industries—How do people around here earn their livings? What is the socioeconomic structure—a blue-collar town, rich estates for the upper-crust polo set?

Education—What level of education do people typically obtain? Do the locals value education or are they disdainful and suspi cious of it? Are the local schools good or poor? What kinds of educational institutions are available?

Religion—What religions are represented here? Are there many or does one predominate? How important a role does religion play in people's lives?

Local taste—How do people dress? What, for instance, is typical business dress? (It's different in Los Angeles than in Washington, D.C.). What kinds of cars do people typically drive? What are the specialties of the local cuisine? Holidays and celebrations—What special occasions does the community celebrate, and how? Are there annual parades or festivals? What kinds of events bring people together?

Arts, culture, and entertainment—What kinds of music, art, movies, TV, etc., are popular? What kinds of sports? How do people like to have fun? What sorts of facilities—theaters, museums, music organizations, playing fields, sports arenas—are available to people?

Crime patterns—What kind of crimes predominate? What is the crime rate? Is this place dangerous or safe? What is the general attitude toward law enforcement?

Image in the rest of the world—What image does the place have in the eyes of outsiders? What is it famous for? Do outsiders come in droves or stay away? What would its tourist board tout as a lure for visitors?

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