Describe the Different types of Social Distance.


The different types of social distance are discussed below:

Affective Social Distance: One widespread conception of social distance focuses on affectivity. According to this approach, social distance is associated with affective distance, i.e., how much or little sympathy the members of a group feel for another group. Emory Bogardus, the creator of Bogardus social distance scale was typically basing his scale on this subjective-affective conception of social distance: In social distance studies the center of attention is on the feeling reactions of persons toward other persons and toward groups of people.

Normative Social Distance: A second approach views social distance as a normative category. Normative social distance refers to the widely accepted and often consciously expressed norms about who should be considered as an “insider” and who an “outsider/ foreigner.” Such norms, in other words, specify the distinctions between “us” and “them.”

In this respect, normative social distance is very different from affective social distance, because here social distance is seen as a non-subjective, structural aspect of social relations. Examples of this conception can be found in some of the works of sociologists such as Georg Simmel, Emile Durkheim and to some extent Robert Park.

Interactive social Distance: A third conceptualization of social distance focuses on the frequency and intensity of interactions between two groups. The main idea is that a lot of social interaction will bring two groups together. This conception is similar to the approaches in sociological network theory, where the frequency of interaction between two parties is used as a measure of the extent of the social relations between them.

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