Monday, December 16, 2013

17 December 2013: Public Space, Territorial Breaches and Emotions: Passengers in the Metro

Martin Aranguren
EHESS, Paris

A basic dimension of face-to-face interaction in public places is territoriality. Drawing on ethology, anthropologist Edward T. Hall and sociologist Erving Goffman called attention to the cultural norms that govern interpersonal distance in everyday encounters, pointing out the emotional nature of territorial breaches (e.g., being vehemently jostled by a stranger). On the other hand, emotion research has become more sensitive to naturalistic studies of emotional processes in real-life situations. Emotions are not just private “feelings”, but also observable patterns of interaction with the environment that transform situations.

The workshop will present the results of a study conducted in the Paris subway metro, based on a novel methodology for studying territoriality and emotions in crowded settings. Among others, the protocol uses field observation and describes passenger’s facial behaviour with the anatomically-based Facial Action Coding System and conducts sequential analysis. The same protocol will be used in a study of the Delhi Metro, to examine the extent to which emotional patterns related to territorial violations in crowded situations vary across cultures. This includes the appraisal of a breach, i.e., the class of events that are perceived as territorial violations, as well as the consequent interactional management of perceived territorial violations. Do Delhi metro passengers respond emotionally to territorial breaches in the same way as users of the Paris subway?

Date: December 17, 2013
Time: 03:45 P.M.

Conference Hall
Centre for Policy Research,
Dharma Marg, Chanakyapuri,
New Delhi–110021(INDIA)

For further information, please contact: Jayani Bonnerjee at, Partha Mukhopadhyay at or Marie-Hélène Zerah at


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