What's The New Too 'Close' For Personal Comfort?


Every day, an imaginary Political Correctness Police Force (PCPF) seems to (metaphorically) reissue guidelines to explain personal space requirements, as well as acceptable behavior among humans. In reality, however, the proper dimensions for social space have been researched since as early as 1963 by American anthropologist Edward T. Hall (1914-2009).

Anthropologists study human language, culture, societies, biological and material remains, the biology and behavior of primates, and even people's buying habits.

Hall coined the term "proxemics" to describe the study of human use of space and the effects that population density has on behavior, communication, and social interaction. Proxemics has several subcategories in the study of nonverbal communication, including "haptics" (touch) and "kinesis" (body movement).

According to Hall's study, people reserve a zone of about 46 centimeters around them. This "intimate space" is...

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