The Importance Of Personal Space

1757 Words 8 Pages
People gather in large quantities for any number of reasons, such as for sporting events or festivals, parades, amusement parks. However, for these interactions are generally signified by a certain level of comradery. The same cannot be said for those gathered together on public transportation. Similar to standing in elevator with other people, occupants generally tend to isolate themselves while aboard public transportation such as the city bus. There are certain acceptable forms of behavior that is indicative of being on the bus that fosters one’s ability to disengage from the other people in the general vicinity. This also allows a person a sense of privacy while in a small confined space with other people. Erving Goffman called this type of interaction as civil inattention. …show more content…
Goffman (2010) has used social order to mean the particular patterns of behavior that are associated with rules of the space, be those rules real or perceived. Being that public spaces are controlled by this civil inattention, Goffman states that people have a certain right to be able to keep to themselves and go through their day with minimal social interaction (2010). People protect their sense of personal space by engaging in this civil inattention as a way of coping with the confined space and to distance themselves from the other occupants of the bus. This distance is obviously not in the form of actual space as that is hard to come by in the small bus quarters, but rather through a series of actions that allow people to break connections, disengage, and to ward off other passengers aboard the bus. It is this particular phenomenon that I was interested in observing during my own bus ride around St.

Related Documents