Anthropology 103 Fieldwork Assignment #1: An Exercise in Proxemics—Breaking the Rules of Personal Space
Pick a location where you can break American proxemics rules and observe the reaction of those around you.
Some suggested locations include:
Elevator: Turn and face your fellow riders rather than facing the elevator doors
Bus: Pick a time of day when the bus is relatively uncrowded and purposefully sit next to someone even when there are several empty seats
Gym: Like the bus, pick a time of day when the gym is uncrowded and purposefully workout on a machine next to someone
Bathroom: Select a stall or urinal that puts you next to someone rather than leaving a stall or two between you and the other person
Cafeteria: Pick a time of day when the cafe is relatively uncrowded and purposefully sit next to someone even when there are several empty tables
please describe your observations and an analysis on why people behaved the way they did. In your analysis, use your knowledge of American cultural attitudes towards personal space. If you were raised in another culture, please feel free to compare and contrast your cultural ideas about space versus those of Americans.
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