Spatial Parameters in Naturalistic Social Research

  • Robert Sommer


Man-environment relations is such a broad field that a researcher has to choose his audience as well as his problem area. Over the years, I have had three different audiences in mind, which has meant writing three different kinds of articles. The first contained various social scientists. Interestingly, sociologists have been far more receptive to studies of spatial behavior than have psychologists who tend to think in terms of psychological rather than physical spaces. Anthropologists were interested in the work from the standpoint of non-verbal communication. Because I want to change the world, I also aimed at architects, landscape people and others concerned with the design of the physical environment, and space managers such as hospital administrators, student housing directors, school principals and air terminal managers who are directly responsible for the furnishing, allocation, and utilization of institutional spaces. It is noteworthy that animal biologists and ecologists, whom I have never tried to reach directly, are the people to whom I am most indebted for my theoretical orientation and concepts.


Active Defense Personal Space Sexual Segregation Dominance Behavior Tenured Faculty 
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© Plenum Press, New York 1971

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  • Robert Sommer

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