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Proxemics as an aspect of covert culture : an exploratory study of the spatial dimension of social interaction. Lind, Karin Marguerite

Abstract

The analysis of man's use of space and its significance in social interaction has been largely neglected by anthropologists. The task for this study is to indicate that the management of space is far from accidental--in fact, it is a complex network of observable patterns. Despite the lack of studies (empirical or otherwise), it is argued that in face-to-face interaction, spatial patterns constitute a fundamental dimension. Moreover, such patterns are not explicit; rather they are in the realm of unconscious behaviour i.e. covert culture. The thesis begins with a survey of the few studies reported in the literature which deal with spatial patterns. As well, consideration is given to a variety of material which provides secondary reference to this central interest. The writer then reports methods attempted to gather information on codes of spatial behaviour. Several different perspectives for handling the resultant data are explored to illustrate the relevance of distance patterns. Following this discussion is a proposal for a possible field study which would allow a comprehensive analysis of human spatial arrangements.

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