Theory Of The Anthropology Of Space Essay

Theory Of The Anthropology Of Space Essay

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Theory of Proxemics: The Anthropology of Space
Hall (1966) defined proxemics as the “interrelated observations and theories of man’s use of space” (101); from the observations he made from animal studies regarding territoriality, spacing, and population, he proposes an organizational model of the underlying culture. This model is organized by Hall (1966) as a set of patterns divided into three different cultural levels: the intracultural, the precultural, and the microcultural. Infracultural “is behavioral and is rooted in man’s biological past” and precultural “is physiological and very much is the present” (101). Microcultural, used by Hall (1966) to make most of his observation, has three aspects: fixed-feature, semifixed-feature, and informal (101.
Fixed-feature space is described by Hall (1966) as a way of organizing individual activities that feature behaviors that are fixed and rigid; examples of this include territorial behaviors for courting, nesting, as well as physical manifestations of behaviors such a building walls or the way they are grouped together (103). Semifixed-feature space is described by Hall (1966) as space that is both movable and changeable (i.e. curtains, screens, movable partitions, and furniture). What is important to note about this type of space is that not all cultures will categorize this feature in the same way. This distinction is noted by Hall (1966)’s description of certain spaces as sociofugal (limiting social interaction) vs. sociopetal (encouraging social interaction) (108). Informal space is described by Hall (1966) as the distance maintained between individuals during encounters that are the consequence of sensory shifts, such as degree of loudness, as described before (113). The deg...


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...eening needs are there? For what senses and which relationships?
12. What is the nature of the sensory involvement for the different relationship in the normal course of everyday life?
13. What specific spatial needs are there?
14. What are the spatial references in the lexicon?
15. Is there a special handling of space between superordinates and subordinates?
The next step by Hall was the categorization of descriptive linguistics by reviewing the oxford dictionary for words with spatial connotation; which resulted in approximately 5,000 terms English terms. Due to only being able to speak English, requested a friends help in compiling a similar Arab-English dictionary. In analyzing paintings and literature Hall was able to see that the concept of space changes over time and is connected to the raising consciousness of proxemic patterns that appear in culture (90).

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