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0339 – Human Spacing And Its Part In Projection Theory
2021.12.05 – 0339 – Human Spacing And Its Part In Projection Theory
What the barbecue has illustrated is Human Spacing, the ideas of anthropologist Edward T. Hall from which we understand the projection needed to speak conversationally. It’s because, as we have seen, there are very specific ‘social rules’ about this social distance.
The Public Zone
This is generally over 3 metres. That is, when we are walking around town, we will try to keep at least this distance between us and other people. The closer others get, the more we become aware and ready ourselves for appropriate action.
The Social Zone
Between 1.5 and 3 metres we start to feel a connection with other people: we can talk with them without having to shout, and is a comfortable distance for people who are standing in a group but maybe not talking directly with one another.
The Personal Zone
In the personal zone of .5 to 1.5 metres the conversation gets more direct, and this is a good distance for two people who are talking in earnest about something.
The Intimate Zone
When a person is within arm’s reach or closer (under .5 metres), then we can touch them in intimate ways. We can also see more detail of their body language and look them in the eyes. When they are closer, they also blot out other people so all we can see is them (and vice versa). Romance of all kinds happens in this space.
 There’s a whole chapter about speaking conversationally later in the book.
 This is true in the ‘developed Western world’; other cultures have other norms.
Audio recording script and show notes (c) 2021 Peter Stewart
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Music credits: all Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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