Introductory Notes

  • Aristide H. Esser
  • Barrie B. Greenbie


Despite our emphasis on the interrelationships between community, privacy and communality, much of the discussion in this volume has focused on the private and small group end of the continuum. This appears to be true for man-environment research in general, and also for most contemporary attempts by designers and planners to create a more humane scale in our built environment. Without doubt, this is a reaction to bigness, standardization and the impersonality of mass production and mass communication which has overtaken most of the developed Western world in the past decade, as expressed in the “small is beautiful” movement. It is also a part of the widespread hunger for a sense of community in place of feeling of alienation so characteristic of urbanized people in our time. The view of community in this respect is largely one of village-scale relationships, where individuals can relate to each other personally, where they can participate in activities that affect their lives and perceive some sort of control over their environment.


Primary Group Mass Communication Social Fragmentation Humane Scale Urbanized People 
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  1. 1.
    Hall, E. T. Beyond Culture. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1976.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aristide H. Esser
    • 1
  • Barrie B. Greenbie
    • 2
  1. 1.The Association for the Study of Man-Environment Relations, Inc.OrangeburgUSA
  2. 2.University of MassachusettsAmherstUSA

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