Violating Norms: Invading Personal Space

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In our daily lives we communicate and interact with a lot of diverse individuals but aren’t always aware why we act a certain way. Norms control the way people act and communicate with each other. People don’t always notice them but they are part of every culture. They are the rules that guide our everyday life. One very important social norm is the concept of personal space. Respect towards someone personal space is very important in society. People often prefer distance between one another unless they know each other or have to. Personal space is a comfort zone and people don’t like it when it’s violated. In order to observe this concept, I visited a park and recorded people’s behavior. The first thing I noticed was the distance people had when communicated with each other. For example if it was a couple, they would hold hands and keep a close distance but if it was just friends they would keep a few inches to a couple of feet away from each other. Another example is the way people would move the picnic tables away from each other before setting up their food. Finally I noticed how when people sat on the benches and if they didn’t know each other they would sit on the opposite ends and avoid any contact with each other. These examples all fall under the rules of Proxemics. There are four types of distances. Intimate distances extend from skin contact to about eighteen inches away. This is a distance kept between couples and intimate partners. A personal distance is the distances kept between friends or acquaintances and is approximately 18 inches to 4 feet. Social distances range from four feet to about twelve feet and are reserved for colleagues or social gatherings. It's a friendly range but a bit more formal. Public distances extend from twelve feet to twenty-five feet. It’s more formal and is the most detached from others ( In an attempt to

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