Dosen Tetap Jurusan Arsitektur, Universitas Kristen Petra, Surabaya
Abstrack This study focuses on household rental rooms called 'rumah kost'(rental room). in Surabaya that commonly grow on two specific areas, university with the demand of students and industrial estate areas with the workers' demand. The area of this study is Surabaya Industrial Estate Rungkut, Surabaya. The main characters in this study are the owners are landlady who provide the rental room and the renters are women industrial worker.
This study found that the household rental room as home based enterprises, owned and operated by self employed individual working provide service to some renters who respect and follow their requirements. Thus, there is social interaction and specific relationship (communal relation) between the provider and the renter, which different with the relationship between the seller and the buyer.
Abstrak Studi ini difokuskan pada rumah rumah kost di Surabaya , yang dapat digolongkan di dua daerah, yaitu sekitar kampus dan kawasan industri. Lokasi studi ini berada di Surabaya Industrial Estate Rungkut (SIER), Surabaya. Tokoh dalam studi ini adalah 'ibu kost' (landlady) sebagai pemilik dan penyedia rumah dan wanita pekerja di inudtsri sebagai penyewa. Studi ini menemukan bahwa rumah kost di Rungkut sebagai rumah produktif dimiliki dan dioperasikan oleh seorang swasta secara individu danmandiri memberikan jasa ruang untuk tidur dengan peraturan-peraturan dan hubungan sosial yangberbeda bila dibandingkan dengan hubungan antara penjual dan pembeli.
In 1970, the municipal government of Surabaya started to plan an industrial estate in the suburban area of Rungkut. Four years later, the Surabaya Industrial Estate Rungkut (SIER) was developed in suburban Surabaya as the second industrial estate in Indonesia. The industrial estate which covers an area of 245 ha, is managed by state-owned enterprise called Badan Usaha Milik Negara (BUMN), but is owned by the Municipality of Surabaya. All the factories in the SIER share the facilities of the central wastewater treatment plant, a six-storey rental office building included a bank and a convention hall, a fire brigade, security guards, garbage collection, a mosque and a clinic.
By 1996, the SIER had 194 big, 26 medium, 40 small factories and 7 warehouses. The development of this industrial estate made the Kecamatan (Sub-district) Rungkut attractive to people who were looking for job. It led to the rapid population growth of Rungkut. In 1971, Rungkut had a population of only 21,148 persons; the population rose to 56,486 in 1980 and became 172,993 in 1990. During the 1980-1990 decade, the population of Rungkut grew by 11.8 per cent per year, while the population of Surabaya grew at a rate of 2.1 per cent per year (Table 1.). According to the 2000 Master Plan of Surabaya, Rungkut has been planned as one of five urban centres in Surabaya.
Table 1. Population and population growth rate of the five fastest-growing sub-districts of Surabaya
Growth Rate (%)
Source: Municipal Government of Surabaya, Bureau of Statistic, Statistical Yearbook of Surabaya, 1993 (Surabaya Dalam Angka 1993), p. 80.
The existence of SIER has caused the rapid increase in the population density of the Rungkut. The sub-district has an area of 45 km2. In 1970, Rungkut had a population density of only 592 persons per km2. By 1980, the population density had almost tripled to 1,582 persons per km2. By 1990, the population density had further risen to 4,844 persons per km2. By 1996, the SIER employed more than 50,000 workers. Most of them were living around the industrial estate. This concentration of industrial workers created a demand for housing. This situation induced the original population to build rental rooms for the workers. However, the construction of housing was not accompanied by the construction of good infrastructure. Usually, lodging rooms without proper facilities were built besides the house of the original resident.
2. Socio Psychological Approach There is evidence from several previous studies that most industrial workers prefer to rent accommodation rather than to own it (Yap and Rahman, 1993; Yap and Shresta, 1997). Salim (1993: 4) explains this by pointing out that industrial workers have the habit of moving, whether to look for a job or to look for more suitable housing. Their mobility is influenced by the system of non-permanent wages that indicates that they are also not permanent workers. Another related reason is that most of them are single young workers. The Global report on Human Settlements 1996 (UNCHS, 1996) points out that renting tends to be particularly important to those who work in low-paid jobs or have income sources that require them to move constantly. Rental housing is of great importance to lower-income group, not only because it is cheap, but also because it allows for mobility. However, housing providers and in particular the public sector often have only eyes for the income and affordability of the people who are in search of a house. They, therefore, may fail to meet the housing needs of those people.
This study uses a socio-psychological approach to study the role of household rental room of industrial workers in the Surabaya Industrial Estate Rungkut (SIER) in Surabaya, Indonesia, in order to be able to determine the specific needs of women industrial workers. Historically, this approach is rooted in psychology and social theories. Broadly speaking, the socio-psychological approach is interested in how experiences shape human attitudes and behaviour. Sociologists, anthropologists, economists, urban geographers and political scientists use a “societal level” analysis and explain social behaviour with historical, economical, societal and cultural factors. Psychologists use an “individual level” analysis and explain social behaviour in terms of a person’s unique individual characteristics. Social psychologists argue that personal motives and emotional reactions (Sears, et.al., 1991) as well as culture and ecology (Triandis, 1994) influence human behaviour. The socio-psychological approach assumes an "interpersonal level" that combines the societal and individual levels. The special focus of the socio-psychological approach on the ‘interpersonal level’ helps to deepen the understanding (‘verstehen’) of people’s responses to immediate situations, i.e. feelings and thoughts that are produced in a particular social situation, and the impact of these reactions on overt behaviour.
Sears, Peplau and Taylor (1991) state that the socio-psychological approach has several broad goals. The first goal is description, i.e. to provide a careful and systematic description of social behaviour that permits us to make reliable generalizations about how people act in various social settings. A thorough knowledge of the ways people actually behave is crucial to developing theories to explain the causes of behaviour. The second goal is a causal analysis, i.e. to identify cause and effect relations. The third goal is theory building, i.e. to develop theories about social behaviour that helps us to understand why people behave the way they do. As we learn more about the general principles and the specifics of particular types of behaviour, we gain a better understanding of social life. The fourth goal is application. The knowledge of social psychology can be helpful in solving everyday social problem. It may also assist social planners to design a better policy and environment for industrial workers' housing. In the area of housing, the socio-psychological approach could describe the specific housing needs of people, and analyse the social and personal factors that determine these housing needs.
The focus of this study is the women industrial workers who came from rural areas to the city because they perceived an opportunity to earn a higher income and live a better life in the city. She did indeed earn a living, and perhaps lived a better life than she did in rural area, but she had to settle in a deprived area on the urban fringe. Urban areas are fundamentally different from rural areas in physical, social and economical terms. The progressive shift of the women industrial workers from a rural to an urban environment is accompanied by profound and far-reaching changes in the ways in which people live their daily lives. Rural-urban migrants come into an urban environment with large numbers of people, factories, shops and recreational facilities which facilitate, support and promote a variety of lifestyles.
Women industrial workers who come from rural areas to the city change their behaviour and their satisfaction with their daily life, including the way they choose their housing. Galster (1987) views housing satisfaction as a psychological measure of the respondent’s residential needs, aspirations and their reality of the current residential context. The notion of satisfaction involves a unique combination of physical and psychological needs, as Struyk states,
“The needs and aspirations against which the current housing is compared are far more complex to characterise. They depend on such factors as the household’s prior residential history, stage in life, acquisitiveness, and desire for physical comforts or social status” (Struyk , 1990: 210)
Rapoport (1969) describes the house as one’s own castle. It is a status symbol. With the advancement of social status, people tend to change their residences, either by moving to another house or by altering the existing house. Turner (1968:358) interprets the association of socio economic mobility and housing in relation to users as an evolutionary process leading from bridge headers to ‘consolidators’ and then to status seekers. He describes bridge headers as those who try to find out some sort of shelter to stay, consolidators as those who try to settle on a particular location and status seekers as those who try to move from one social stratum to another.
Cooper (1974) identifies self-expression of the dwellers as the most important humane quality or psychological need. People expect some personalization or identity in the physical form of their homes. Privacy, security, territory and exhibiting social status are some other related qualities of personalization.
“The first and most consciously selected form to represent self is the body, for it appears to be both the outward manisfestation and the encloser of self. On a less concious level, I believe, man also frequently selects the house to represent or symbolize what s tantalizingly unrepresentable” (Cooper, 1974:131).
Altman (1981) said that the need of self-expression is a basic need which people show both through habitat selection and actual manipulation of the physical environment. The house exterior and the interior seem often to be personalized so that they reflect how people view themselves, both as an individual psyche and in relation to society and the outside world, and how they wish to present themselves to family and their friends. Therefore, satisfying individual psychological and psychological requirements in housing is vital, as Fathy and Perera describe:
“There is a strong psychological connection between the individuality and the home, not anything else that is his home, where he gets maximum psychological and physiological satisfaction” (Fathy, 1976:112)
“Housing as a manifestation of cultural process relates to specific values, attitude, customs and beliefs of the society and its individuals” (Perera, 1995:51)
Those studies relate to house as an established place of living. They do not capturethe specific needs of migrant workers who are in the city for specific period of time. Their specific needs are different from the bridge header.
3. Household Rental Room as Home Based Enterprises in Rungkut, Surabaya
In 1974, private developers joined the development of real estate in kecamatan Rungkut, and by 1982, Rungkut had developed as a suburban area and had been added administratively as a new kecamatan to Surabaya. At the end of 1990s, Rungkut was leading in population growth among the kecamatan in Surabaya. From the area of 3,904 hectares, 1,170 hectares have been developed for housing, 11.52 hectares for offices and 389 hectares for industry. Nowadays, there are four types of housing in Rungkut: private sector housing, rental rooms in kampung, public housing by local government and rental rooms by a company (Table 2).
Source: Field Survey, December 1997. (US$1 = Rupiah 2,500)
Most areas surrounding the SIER consist of kampung, which have been improved under the Kampung Improvement Program (KIP). Before 1974, the area consisted of farmland and villages. Since 1980, the area has seen the growth of unplanned
settlements in the urban fringe of Surabaya. However, these settlements are not squatter settlements. The original dwellers obtained the land by gift or inheritance. Although the physical conditions of kampung are poor because they lack of facilities and amenities, the kampung are not slum areas. Gotong royong (mutual help) is a tradition that can often be seen in the kampung, and people can get their food and goods from service vendor nearby with cash or credit repaid at the end of every week or month. Kampung residents have retained many aspects of rural life, such as togetherness among neighbours, community cohesiveness and social tradition.
Apart from five kampung successfully improved under the Kampung Improvement Program (KIP), the study found that many kampungs still lacked public piped drinking water supply and still suffered from poor drainage and lack of garbage disposal. All the five improved kampung in the study area had good concrete or asphalt roads with open drainage on both side of the road (some were covered with concrete block financed from a community-based budget). Only few houses had a connection to the public water supply network. Usually, the owner of those houses had built one or two big tanks (around 1 x 2 meter and two meter deep) and sold the water at Rupiah 100 per bucket. The garbage disposal system for all the kampung was under the community-based budget. Someone was hired to collect the garbage from each household and take it to the garbage collection station of Rungkut sub-district. Among the five kampung in the study area, only kampung Kalirungkut faced the main road, had public water supply for the tenants for cooking, while the owner had built a deep well for bathing.
The image that the kampungs are crowded and very congested, was not found correct in the study area. The only kampung that looked like a line of houses without space in between was Kendangsari kampung. In other kampung, there was still some open space. The most serious physical problem was the quality of the building materials for the walls and the roofs. The quality of two of the seven houses observed had deteriorated with poor walls and ceilings and damp rooms that lacked ventilation. However, beyond these physical limitations, the kampung still offered a friendly environment that can be compared to a village environment. There still was the celebration of the national day by the community in the kampung. The community bond of the village is still existed in the kampung on the urban fringe. People were still willing to help each other and lend their belongings to others.
In the beginning of industrialization, women industrial workers who came from rural areas just stayed together with the villagers. But as the demand for industrial workers increased, the villagers invited their relatives in rural areas to come and to take up jobs in SIER. The villagers started to rent part of their rooms or to share their bedrooms with their relatives. As the SIER became the target of migration, the area slowly became crowded with lodging houses, called rumah kost. There is no record of the number of lodging houses constructed, because most of the houses were built without legal building permission. In 1994, kecamatan Rungkut reported that there were 23,108 houses but only 1,867 had a building permit.
The uniqueness of the rumah kost is that the houses have been developed by the original residents of the kampung. They would typically have space left on their original inherited land, and provided rumah kost for industrial workers incrementally as the demand of rental room increased. In the beginning, they would just build a few rental rooms adjacent to their houses. Nowadays, some households have become so successful that renting the rumah kost has become their main source of income.
Among five households who were interviewed for this study, four were self-employed house owners who rented the rumah kost to the industrial workers. One of them had rumah kost in three different locations; she, therefore, asked one of her renters to help her taking care of the 'rumah kost' in two locations and provided a free rental room as compensation.
The field survey found that the villagers did not have a building permit for the rumah kost. All of them had built their rental rooms with only the permission of the head of kampung before beginning the construction. Usually, they gave a bit of money as a contribution to the kampung treasury. In some cases, a municipal official asked the owner, while in the process of construction, for the building permit, but the matter was resolved by an immediate minor payment, called uang rokok (money for cigarette). No one reported being forced to obtain a formal building permit.
The rumah kost provider appeared in the survey as a responsive provider of housing to meet the demand of the industrial workers. This type of entrepreneur entered the housing market in the kampung incrementally, in direct response to market demand. They typically had land left over and responded to the demand by incrementally building a few rental rooms adjacent to their house. Without any land purchase and using a shared bathroom, the household made a handful of rental rooms available at an attractive price and with a minimal investment.
The physical condition of the rental rooms was on average poor, in particular the bathroom and the water supply and some buildings had deteriorated, but some were in good condition. Seven rumah kost in different kampung will be described in detail as follow,
(a) Rungkut Lor This kampung is located between the main road of Kalirungkut and the site of the municipal housing estate called Yayasan Kas Pembangunan (YKP). In the kampung, the Kampung Improvement Programme widened the road to two and half meters and provided open concrete drains on both sides of the road. Mrs.Teguh, the owner of the rumah kost is not originally from this kampung; her husband bought the land and built the rental rooms in 1988. Mrs.Teguh does not live in the same building. She asks one of the renters to take care of the maintenance of the rental rooms and gives her a free rental room in return.
Mrs.Teguh has 17 rooms of 3 x 3.5 meters, complete with four communal bathrooms and a place for drying and ironing clothes. In addition, she provides one room for praying (mushola) and a telephone. The quality of the rental rooms is good, with brick walls and a cement tile floor. The open space is big enough to allow the sun to come into every room. The rental rooms are rented preferably to families, but there is no communal kitchen and each family has to make its own kitchen in front of the room. There is no public water supply, but only a deep well. There is free electricity supply of 75 watt for each room; extra electricity has to be paid by the renters.
The rental price is quite high compared to that of other rooms: one room cost Rupiah 60,000 per month. Mrs.Teguh said that the price is fair because of the condition of the road which allows cars to pass,although no renter has a car. Some renters have a motorcycle. The relationship between the owner and the renters is good. Mrs.Teguh celebrates idulfitri with the renters. When renters have a problem paying the rent, she extebds them until the next month to pay.
(2) Kendangsari This kampung is not located along the main road, but the conditions of the street is good after the Kampung Improvement Programme paved the street with concrete and built drains along the road. Two houses were surveyed for the study, one owned by Mr.Karyadi and the other by Mr.Supomo.
Mr.Karyadi has 15 rental rooms 3 x 3 meters and five bathrooms. He offers the rooms for Rupiah 10,000 per room per month, excluding electricity. There is no limit for the use of electricity, but Mr.Karyadi has put a meter in the corner of every room and the renters have to share the cost of electricity every month. There is no public water supply, but only a deep well for bathing. The condition of the rooms is not good: the walls have deteriorated, and the ceiling is in a poor condition. There is no kitchen, washing place or drying place. The rental rooms seem to have been designed for income-generation. There is no open space and the place looks quite crammed.
Mr.Supomo has eight rental rooms of 3 x 2.5 meters and two communal bathrooms, and provides 100 watt of electricity to each room. However, if a renter has appliances that need more electricity, like a television, he will charge extra for the electricity, usually not more than Rupiah 5,000. There is no public water supply, but Mr.Supomo built a deep well for bathing.
(3) Kutisari Mrs.Sutinah provides rental rooms for women workers only. She has three rental rooms at the back of her house, with a bathroom and one toilet, a pump-well and a porch-kitchen nearby. The size of each room is 3 x 3 meters. The rental rooms and the facilities look clean and the brick wall and tile floor are in good condition. The rent for each room is Rupiah 40,000 per month, including electricity. She has a regulation that renters should be home before nine o'clock at night. (Figure 1)
(4) Mejoyo Mrs.Sudjari has rental rooms in three different places. The first 10 rental rooms and two communal bathrooms were built in 1978 in Mejoyo II. Each room is 6 x 3 meters with a private kitchen of 3 x 2 meters at the back. The condition of rooms is poor, but there is open space that can be used by the renters as a gathering place and some of them keep some hens and roosters. The bathrooms are made of corrugated iron sheets and planks. In 1990, when a big private university was built next to this site, the rental rooms suffered from floods. (Figure 2)
The second group of rental rooms was built in Kalirungkut kampung in 1990, next to Mrs.Sudjari’s house. It has eleven rooms. The size of each room is 2 x 2.5 meters; there are three communal bathrooms and one communal porch kitchen. The rent is Rupiah 45,000 per month, including electricity. This rent is high for the size of rooms, but the location is on the main road. Mrs.Sudjari argues that the rent is fair with the facility of 24-hours transportation. There is public water supply for cooking and a deep well for bathing. For the public water supply, the renters have to pay Rupiah 100 per bucket. (Figure 3)
The third group of rental rooms was built in Mejoyo Ill. It has 22 rooms, three communal bathrooms and one kitchen. The size of room is around 2 x 2.5 meters with a tile floor and brick wall. The rent is Rupiah 40,000 per month, excluding electricity. Mrs.Sudjari provides 1300 watt of electricity and the renters have to share the cost among them. There is one deep well for bathing. For cooking, they can buy drinking water at Rupiah 250 per bucket delivery; if they want to carry the water themselves, they pay Rupiah 100.
4. The Benefits of Socio Psyhcological Approach: Re-appraising the Household Rental Room as Home Based Enterprises. Most of the Home Base Enterprises (HBEs) studies paid attention on how the HBEs habe been supporting th eincome of the family. The effort to use part of their houses' space, have been studied from economic point of view as well as the environment impact. This endeavor may give the advantages of HBEs regarding poverty alleviation as it had been identified by United Nations's Urban Poverty Forum on the macro level, not on the micro level of household.
The result study of the macro level of many types of HBE, has been producing the policy statements that tend to generalise which neither tackle the basic problems faced by HBEs nor show any capacity to distinguish between different type of enterprise with stikingly different needs and approaches. Thus this study focused the exploration on the household.
The benefir of socio psychological approach is to give insight understanding of the characteristics of household rental rooms as HBEs. How from human aspect, the household rental rooms give the contribution to maintain the quality of life of young women factory workers. Thus, there are plurality roles of housheold rental rooms, instead of as income sources, it portrays the family relationship that needed by young women migrant and in some extent fulfill the land-lady's longing.
Table 3 Conditions of rumah kost rental rooms
Preference for family
Not more than 1 month
Home by 9.00 pm
3 x 3 m
2 x 2.5 m
6 x 3 m
2 x2.5 m
No. of rooms
4 shared rooms
5 shared rooms
2 shared rooms
3 shared rooms
2 shared rooms
3 shared rooms
75 Watt free
Paid by renters
50 Watt free
10 Watt free
1,300 Watt for all
Yes, only receiving
Source: Field Survey January 1998.
The motivation of the households refer to the dynamic forces of human behaviour, why people think, feel and act they way that they do. March and Simon (1958) as cited by Kelman and Warwick (1973) suggested that he chance which an individual will be motivated to take enterpreneurial risks are depended on the level of aspiration for their own satisfaction. The owners of household rental rooms are motivated to run rental rooms business by seking the maximum amount possibility to gain the satisfaction both income and relationship , as one of the landlady as owner said,
"I have run the rental room since 1978, when my husband died. I sold the farmland, and on the rest of its I built ten rooms for the first time. Now, I have thirty rooms and for the operation I asked one renter to help me to take ccare and as the compensation, I give her free rental room. From this business, I could pay my children school and our daily ecpenses. Now, my children have their own income already, but I still like to do this business because I need friends instead of buy something for my grandchild", said Mrs Sudjari.
"Beside of I get additional income, I feel happy that I can help them ,who still young and alone in the city. Just imagine, if we are them?, how happy we are to have "tumpangan" (lodging) and "ibu kost" (ibu=mother; kost=rental room) who care with us. So that why I consider them as my daughters", said Mrs Sutinah. (see the respond of Umi and LASTRI as renterS below)
"I felt so scared when I came for the first time in Surabaya. So, I choose 'rumah kost' (rental room) that only special for owmen and the 'ibu kost' who care with us and always remind us as the 'anak-anak kost' (anak=child) to be at home at nine o'clock evening. Moreover, there is no guest allows inside the room. I feel that 'ibu kost' is just like my mother here", said Umi.
"My 'ibu kost' are vey kind to me. I used to play with their daughter Ririn, and I learn a lot from her. even I was graduated from primary school in my village, but sometimes I can't understands Ririn's homework, even she still in grade two. I like to read for her the story tales. She has many story tales books. Sometimes in the evening I watch the television with them in their living room. I feel just like one family here", said Lastri.
From those stories, it reflects the desire to get the milleu of harmony in the social interaction between owners and renters. In some extent, the family-like environment has given the important value to the life of young migrant women. Thus, the household rental rooms fo not just showing its potential as HBEs but also giving the contribution to the renter's life.
However, this study found also that gradually there is tendency, the arrival of new comers from middle income groups who bought the land and built also the rental rooms are ruin the environment. In some cases, the owner do not live in the site, and it is difficult to meet them. They just come every month to get the room payment. From the study of 25 households, four owners have more than 30 rooms. There is indication that for big number of rental rooms, they did not care about the owner-renter relationship. They are more attracted with the demand of factory workers as good market for business of rental room, as one of them said,
"I did not give any regulation. It is free. The rental rooms are offer for both boys and girls. There is no limitation also in how many persons will share in one room. For me, the important things that they have to pay according to the rental price every month on time. I operate this rental room more professional and I need the money to build another rooms, because my husband does hot have any permanent job, He is a broker of anything, like car, house", said Mrs Umar.
4. Conclusions The study concludes that the household rental rooms as HBEs is not only giving the significant contribution to the family income, but it also has human value impact to both owners and renters. It found that there are a few cases that the owners successfully rollover their money to become enterpreneurs, like open small shop in front of their houses. They began with just three or five rooms beside of their houses then now they can develop to be ten rooms. In some cases, often this type of HBE become their sole income source.
There is tendency that the rich households who gave big land, running the rental room as business only. They have plenty of rooms (it was found until 60 rooms) This study detected that the household rental rooms which have more than 10 rooms, were owned by the rich households who are not the origin dweller, but the new comer. They run the HBE because they bought big land and run the rental rooms as their main job.
Considering those tendencies and the concern of HBEs on poverty alleviation, this study suggests the urgency to protect the household rental rooms who operate by low income family. There is a need of the regulation to avoid the manipulation the word "rental room" that built beside of the owner's house as HBE too. Thus, we may contribute to the poverty issue on income generation and human dignity as well, especially in maintaining the quality of life of young migrant women workers.
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