Chapter 5: Territory and Territoriality
Home Feeling: The Struggle for a Community – Movie – (Handout)
Definition and Nature of Territory
Territory: the continuous or discontinuous space used by an individual or group for interactions that
contribute to satisfying the need for sustenance, security, stimulation, and identity.
- Functions of territory relate to keeping the group within communication distance and
coordination of activities
Territoriality: persistent attachment of individuals or groups to a specific territory.
Sack (1983): suggests that territoriality can be seen as strategies to control an area and to
achieve control over other people, resources or relationships.
It provides a way to meet social-cultural needs of groups, such as:
Regulation of social interaction
Regulation of access to people and resources
Provision of a focus and a symbol of group membership and identity.
- See attempts to control an area by individuals, clubs, gangs, unions, corporations, nations,
groups of states (NAFTA)
- These definitions of territory place the focus on the place, and direct attention away from the
inter-personal relations between controllers and controlled
o Laws are associated with the territory and not with particular people or groups
o Territory is defined by its boundaries
- Figure 5.1 Territoriality and Personal Space pp. 106
Control Mechanisms: Personalization and Defence
- 2 major mechanisms are used by people to control, maintain and defend their space from others:
- Personalization: refers to methods for delimiting the boundaries of territory and
suggesting whose it is, and for establishing aspects of the identity of the person
whose territory it is.
o Marking behaviours delimit the space
Ex. Scent, marks, fences, hedges, signs
- Defense: refers to methods used to maintain territorial integrity. Posture, gestures
and position are all used for defense.
‐ Figure 5.2 Cultural Variability in Territory of Home pp. 107 A few Models of Types of Territory
One-way to classify territory is a hierarchy of:
Microterritory (micro space):
The mobile bubble with which we surround ourselves
It is personalized by our dress and behaviour and actively defended by gesture, word and body
Mesoterritory (mesospace, home territory)
Is the spaces owned by an individual or group and recognized as such and controlled more or
It is the territory of home for the individual and neighborhood for the group.
Individuals mark their home by fences and hedges
They also suggest aspects of their identity with exterior décor (front country identity) and
interior décor (back country identity)
Macroterritory (macro space, home range, secondary territory, activity space)
Is the space that is only controlled for limited time periods by the person and often has unclear
rules of use
These are spaces of your daily life paths. Example: your desk and chair during class, if someone
took it before you, you would “give up” “your territory” for another
These places are often public or semi-space, undefined places shared by several groups of
Three Models of Territory
P.D Roos, David Stea, Stanford M. Lyman and Marvin B. Scott
- Figure 5.5 Three Models of Territory pp. 111
- Figure 5.6 Interactional Territory and Traffic Flow pp. 113
- Roos (1968): hierarchical model that describes space
o Home space core area territory and range
o In each instance, the space gets more general, less intimate, and larger as one progresses
away from the home base
- Stea (1965): more complex, who sees territory as a series of increasingly larger and more
complex spatial structures.
o Personal territorial “body envelope” territorial clusters territorial complex
o Territorial units: things that are familiar and with which you interact (stores, work,
o Territorial clusters: territorial units loosely grouped (scattered in space)
o Territorial complex: comprises of all clusters = universe of territories Disjunct Model:
- Lyman and Scott (1967) suggests a non-hierarchical model known as a disjunct model b/c it
doesn’t posit a series of increasingly larger, hierarchically arrange territorial units
o It proposes spaces that are fluid in size and arrangement and based on the purpose of the
subject’s particular interaction with others within the spaces.
- 4 classifications of territory, based on degree of individual’s interaction with other individuals
and the space within which it takes place
1. Body Territory: ones personal space and all of the conditions that apply to this
2. Interactional Territory: is any place where a social gathering takes place.
3. Home territory: a person’s everyday frame of reference. Those areas, with which
you are most familiar, have most freedom and most access. This area is the area of
your activity space or your daily life span.
4. Public Territory: it is the space in which you may travel. It is the open space to
which one may have freedom of access, but not freedom of action
Home as Territory
- The home is a material and an affective space shaped by everyday practices, lived experiences,
social relations, memories and emotions.
- Home is the symbolic hearth and source of being, and provides a refuge from the world. We
say “home is a man’s castle” though all may not agree
- When we are at ease with a subject, we say we are “at home,” and while in a friend’s castle they
tell us to “make yourself at home”
o We try to make ourselves at home when travelling by engaging in our normal body
ballets and time-space routines
- Stimulation: obtained through making, modifying, and defending the ho