During my social Anthropology course we touched on the subject of boundaries.
It appears there seems to be boundary on many levels, some of which I had not given much thought to before. However, this now leads me to understand our society a little bit more.
Personal space-proxemics, physical, bodily space
Conceptual space-invisible divisions, race, seating space, separating men and woman
Physical space-fences, gates, categories located in cities
All these concepts of space and boundaries are derived from a cultural beginning which has been passed on from era to era and possibly evolved to fit into today’s society. This is where many of us are conditioned into our way of life.
With today’s multicultural society there is a struggle for many to understand one persons ways, we may say they are weird/strange, usually it will seem as a threat as many are scared of what they don’t understand.
An example is how Cypriots kiss on the cheek when they meet, I feel sometimes that this could be invasive or sometimes come across as false, when in fact it may not be false but a sign of respect. However, in some cultures woman can not touch men.
Either way I feel like I’m on a see saw of boundaries, I try to read the signs as to when it is appropriate to kiss or even touch/hug without crossing boundaries or upsetting anyone. I’m learning each time, without prejudice, I’m learning to understand, have patience, accept diversity and I am passing this on to my children, hopefully to help create a more peaceful world, in their world at least.
I find I also try to not intrude in people’s lives when they’re offering me a cup of tea out of politeness. It’s a difficult task to manage when I’m as chatty as I am. I feel that Melanie Kliens theory of ambivalence may be collectively joined with the new generation and multicultural society.
So excuse me if I seem a little ambivalent I’m willing to learn and adjust but I feel the best thing I can do is to check with my boundaries as I may appear to have a hole in my fence now and then.