What Rules and Boundaries Govern Our Everyday Interactions

2234 WordsApr 10, 20129 Pages
Rules and boundaries exist in our daily practices. The rules and boundaries are communicated in many different forms within our social lives, governing our social relations. They persist despite the constant flow of personnel and the long-term maintenance of social relations across them (Barth, 1969). Social boundaries are not always obvious and spoken. Our society is made up of different cultures and social classes, however as individuals we all share one thing in common. “In our lives we will pass through many series of passages, from one state to another, usually marked through ‘special acts’ such as a ceremony “ (Gennep, 1960). These special acts are constrained with rules and boundaries that aren’t inevitably apparent. Examples of…show more content…
Relationships, not explicitly romantic, are an important passage in our social lives that is needed for our well-being. Relationships enable certain common goals to be obtained and shared needs to be met and certain rules operate to achieve this (Henderson and Argyle, 1984) Boundaries are not necessarily spoken but can be referred to in the way of a ‘space’. A boundary is defined as a line that marks the limits of an area (New Oxford American Dictionary, 2005). Christine Helliwell’s study of the framework and conventions of the Dayak longhouses in Borneo, gives an alternative perspective to how rules and boundaries are integrated into our social relations within the space in which it occurs. Helliwell approached the study of social relations in its primary concern of structure, the structure being that of discrete social groups such as corporations or households. “when anthropologist speak of the ‘social structure’ or ‘social organisations’ of a tribal or peasant community…they are looking at a social system as comprised of groups, looking at social relations in terms of interlocking positions and roles (Keesing 1981). The structure of the longhouse consists of seven names spaces (see appendix one). Between the paleper and genggang this divides the apartment into two spaces Sawah and Lawang, the equivalent to ‘outer’ and ‘inner’ areas. The complexity of the set-up and openness of

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