Diagram of Edward T. Hall’s personal reaction bubbles (1966)
“Body spacing and posture, according to Hall, are unintentional reactions to sensory fluctuations or shifts. Social distance between people is reliably correlated with physical distance.
There is an intimate zone reserved for lovers, children and close family members. There is another zone used for conversations with friends, to chat with associates, and in group discussions; a further zone is reserved for strangers, newly formed groups, and new acquaintances; and a fourth zone is used for speeches, lectures, and theater; essentially, public distance is that range reserved for larger audiences.”
In an impersonal crowded situation, eye contact tends to be avoided. According to the psychologist Robert Sommer a method of dealing with violated personal space is dehumanization. He argues that (for example) on the subway, crowded people often imagine those intruding on their personal space as inanimate.”
The intimate zone: sex and war.150 notes