The social environment, social context, sociocultural context or milieu refers to the immediate physical and social setting in which people live or in which something happens or develops. It includes the culture that the individual was educated or lives in, and the people and institutions with whom they interact.
The physical and social environment is a determining factor in active and healthyaging in place, being a central factor in the study of environmental gerontology.
The interaction may be in person or through communication media, even anonymous or one-way, and may not imply equality of social status. Therefore, the social environment is a broader concept than that of social class or social circle.
People with the same social environment often develop a sense of social solidarity; people often tend to trust and help one another, and to congregate in social groups. They will often think in similar styles and patterns even when their conclusions differ.