Bookmarklets | MOVABLE TYPE Proxemics is the term coined by Edward Hall (1957) to describe the social use of space, and personal space in particular. Personal space is the area with invisible boundaries surrounding an individual’s body. This area function as a comfort zone during interpersonal communication. It disappear in environments (elevator, crowd). As a matter of fact, Hall proposes four main distances represented below that are employed in American interactions. Moreover, each distance has a particular meaning, in terms of the kind of interaction allowed. Hall argues that those meanings depends on the culture. Hall also shows how distance constrains the types of interaction that are likely to occur, by communicating to participants as well as observers the nature of the relationships between the interactants and their activity.

Approximate distance Kind of interaction
Intimate distance up to 0.5 meters
Comforting, threatening
Personal distance
0.5 to 1.25 meters
Conversation between friends
Social distance
1.25 to 3.5 meters
Impersonal business dealings
Public distance
more than 3.5 meters
Addressing a crowd