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Encyclopedia > Spatial empathy

Spatial Empathy is an informal term used to describe the awareness of an individual to the proximity, activities and comfort of people surrounding them.


It is closely related to the notion of personal space, the concept that an individual has ownership of their immediate surroundings; and for others to invade this space represents an infringement on their privacy. Personal space, an updated form of Edward T. Halls 1966 proxemics, is the region surrounding each person, or that area which a person considers his domain or territory. ...


The degree to which different cultures exhibit Spatial Empathy differs dramatically. Typically, many developed Western countries consider unnecessary closeness to or physical contact with strangers (such as in a crowded train carriage or store) as taboo. However, many Asian and Eurasian cultures do not exhibit the same aversion.

Contents

Origins

"Spatial Empathy" was first termed by expatriate workers in Hong Kong, themselves typically from nations such as Australia, England, France and the United States. Part of the 'culture shock' of moving to this still very westernised city was the crowded walkways and public transport systems, where navigation through a crowd whilst avoiding physical contact often proved more difficult than in their home countries. Motto: (French for God and my right) Anthem: God Save the King/Queen Capital London (de facto) Largest city London Official language(s) English (de facto) Unification    - by Athelstan AD 927  Area    - Total 130,395 km² (1st in UK)   50,346 sq mi  Population    - 2006 est. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


The term has since spread to expatriate workers in other countries, including Japan and China.


Racist Connotations

It has been suggested that the term Spatial Empathy can be interpreted as racist (i.e. it can imply that an understanding of personal space is a sign of a more developed country). However, for people traveling to countries where unnecessary physical contact is strenuously avoided, a high degree of Spatial Empathy can be interpreted as implying coldness, disconnection or even frigidity in a culture. 1. ...


See also

Bus shelter with seats with armrests, designed to deter proximity, as well as sleeping. ... Personal space, an updated form of Edward T. Halls 1966 proxemics, is the region surrounding each person, or that area which a person considers his domain or territory. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

External links

  • Proxemics

 
 

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