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9. Social Map

A social map shows the social structures and institutions in a defined geographic area and identifies social and economic differences between areas. Here are some key questions to ask before you start.

  • How many households are found and where are they located?

  • Is the number of households growing or shrinking?

  • What are the social structures and institutions?

  • Where are the low-, middle-, and high-income households?

  • What religious groups are found? Where do different religious groups live?

  • What ethnic groups are found? Where do different ethnic groups live?

Draw a map of the area, showing households, groups, and institutions. Discuss important changes that has happened in recent years with regards to population, income, and relevant institutions. If there are changes, ask why these changes have taken place and whether they have caused problems for certain families, groups, or the community at large.


Show institutions, buildings and places that offer social services. Also show popular spots to meet and converse. Examples of these places include schools, clinics, religious institutions, and places where people frequently meet. Mark where different income levels, migrant populations, and religious groups live. Conclude by answering and discussing the following questions.


Discussion questions:

  • How many households are found? Is the number of households growing or shrinking? Explain.

  • What are the social structures and institutions found in the area? Explain.

  • What religious groups are found? Do people of the same religion tend to stay in the same areas? Other important findings related to religion?

  • What ethnic groups are found? Do people of the same ethnic group tend to stay in the same areas? Other important findings related to ethnic groupings?

  • How many female households are found? What relevant information has been given when discussing about female-headed households?

  • What else did you observe or notice?

  • How do you assess the situation? What are your conclusions?

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