Proximics: Evidence from Moroccan culture

Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences

Department of English

Option: Linguistics

A Monograph submitted to the English Department in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for B.A Degree

in English

Proximics: Evidence from Moroccan culture

Supervisor: Mr.Mohamed NFISSI

Submitted by : Aicha A.

Academic Year: 2004-2005


Part one
1-Types of Distances in Interaction
1-1-Intimate Distance
1-2-Casual Distance.
1-3-Fromal Distance
Part two
2-Factors in Distance Variation
2-1-Sex of Individuals
2-2-Social Status of Individual
2-2-1- A Superior
2-2-2- A Subordinate
2-2-3-An Equal
2-3-Nature of Interaction
2-3-1-Intellectual Interaction
2-3-2-Business Interaction
2-3-3-Personal interaction

Appendix :


This questionnaire is about the study of proximics used by Moroccans:
State your:
Sex :…… Male or …… Female
Age : …… Years old
Occupation: ……
1-Do you think that the distance you use in interaction changes ?
2-How close do you stand to a colleague when you talk to him?
3-Does your distance change when you talk to you colleague from the opposite sex? If yes , what causes this change?
-Your personality
-Your interactor’s personality
4-could you joke whith the headmaster?
5-Could you accept a pupil joking with you?
6-Could you shake hands with a pupil?
7-Could you call a colleague far away from you loudly?
8-Could you whisper to a colleague from the opposite six?
9-What does intimacy suggest to you?
-Marital relationship
-Blood relationship
10-What world be an embarrassing distance to you?
11-Whom would you keep at “arm’s length” in interaction?
-a pupil – a colleague – a cousin – a stranger
12 -with a colleague do you speak loud enough that you can be overheard ?
13- What kind of matters could you discuss with a colleague ?
-Personal matters
14- Does it annoy  you  that somebody breaths on you while speaking to you ?
15 – Does it annoy you that some body talks to you while he is not facing you ?
16- what do you do to be alone ?
-You avoid people
-You keep silent and stay accompanied
17- how do you greet your parents ?
-Kissing their hands.
-kissing them on both cheeks.
-Shaking hands with them.
18- Do you greet your mother and father in the some way ? if no can you say how and why.
19- How do you greet a colleague
20- How do you greet a cousin .


-Hall, E.T. (1966). The Hidden Dimension. New York: A double Day Anchor book.

-Hodge, B. (1981). Communication and the teacher. Kiodoshing   long printing industries

Hudson, R.A. (1980). Sociolinguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge university press.

-Mackenzie, N. (1966). A Guide Line to the social sciences. New York : the New American library.


The aim of this paper is an attempt to show how Moroccan conceive of space and use it in their daily interaction. It is also an attempt to show the acceptable ways of using distance to communicate messages of intimacy and lack of intimacy and also the extent distance reaches as a communication of formality and informality in a Moroccan interaction. This work is based on the analysis of a questionnaire which consists of 20 questions pertaining to the use of distance.

It was handed out to high school teachers. Interviews also helped in collecting some information though interviewer was extremely time consuming because every informant was interviewed individually. The interviewed informants were students from different departments: the French the Arabic but mainly the English department males and females, pupils : males and females, finally male employees in a factory and female house keepers.

The whole work is about the spacing patterns in the Moroccan culture. In fact, this topic is chosen because it deals with the non-verbal aspect of face to face interaction this piece of work mainly based on the analysis and the interpretation of the collected data, I will try to see how much important proxemics is in Moroccan interaction, especially the notion of  « space ».

The first part presents three distances used by the Moroccan interacting  individuals in interaction, the differences between these three distances and the characteristics each distance has the second part is devoted to the analysis of the factors affecting the space used in the Moroccan culture and causing its variation from close to far or vice-versa.

Pour citer ce mémoire (mémoire de master, thèse, PFE,...) :
La première page du mémoire (avec le fichier pdf) - Thème :
Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences
Auteur·trice·s :
Aicha A.
Aicha A.
Université :
Department of English - Option: Linguistics
Année de soutenance :
A Monograph submitted to the English Department in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for B.A Degree - 2004-2005
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