The Hidden Dimension in Covid Times An Anthropologist’s Gaze on a Proxemic Experience via “Participant Observation”

Main Article Content

N. Gazzano
M. Masali

Abstract

Humanity as a whole faces a single challenge, perhaps for the first time since prehistory. Just as back then we had to react to the adversities of the natural environment, today we must deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. But while at earlier times we developed in response artifacts, practices and thoughts - in other words, Culture - today long-lasting cultural practices are being disrupted and challenged (Fig. 1). The very chore of our interactions is questioned - that complex system of norms and sensitivities that varies individually and collectively, regulates the physical manifestation of human relations and constitutes the field of inquiry of Proxemics. International safety measures, local cultural norms and individual risk perception combine, generating unpredictable effects: the world appears to be a live social experiment that should be analyzed with an ongoing, interdisciplinary study. The wide corpus of this nearly forgotten discipline, in which our Lab is still fully involved, states the theoretical and methodological premises for such a research, which is at once a unique opportunity and a necessary precondition for future policies. We apply the interdisciplinary and multicultural perspective that characterizes Anthropometry, Anthropology and Social Sciences as a whole to analyze via “Participant Observation” the perception of interpersonal space and built interfaces, which are the archetypes that define our species and vary individually, collectively and diachronically.

Article Details

How to Cite
Gazzano, N., & Masali, M. (2021). The Hidden Dimension in Covid Times: An Anthropologist’s Gaze on a Proxemic Experience via “Participant Observation”. International Journal of Anthropology, 36(1-2). https://doi.org/10.14673/IJA2021121071
Section
Articles
Author Biography

M. Masali, Laboratory of Anthropology, Anthropometry and Ergonomics (Dr. M. Micheletti Cremasco) University of Turin Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology.

Masali M.
Laboratory of Anthropology, Anthropometry and Ergonomics (Dr. M. Micheletti Cremasco)
University of Turin Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology. 
Via Accademia Albertina, 13 I
10123 Torino, Italy,
Email: melchiorre.masali@gmail.com