The research tradition of studying the phenomenon of social distance in social knowledge

Volume 7 (2022), No. 1, pp. 83–94


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The article analyzes the features of the research tradition in the sociological science of the phenomenon of social distance. In modern society, the intensity of interactions with «alien» norms that distinguish «their own» from «strangers» is growing. At the same time, such contacts are becoming more and more conflictual. There is an increase in the social distance between different social groups in society. Tolerant attitude towards «strangers» gives way to intolerance, hostility, confrontation and discrimination. This behavioral aspect highlights the problems of social distancing and emphasizes the significant need to study the phenomenon at a social distance. The purpose of this article is a retrospective analysis of the research tradition of studying the phenomenon of social distance. In this regard, this article analyzes and synthesizes research papers around the chosen topic to accelerate the process of developing the concept of social distance, taking into account various scientific theories and on the basis of a comprehensive sociological methodology including macro and micro approaches. The following methods of scientific research were used: retrospective analysis, analysis and synthesis, scientific generalization, classification, analogy.

According to the literature review in this article, social distance in modern sociological research is considered as a complex multilevel social phenomenon reflecting models of personal and social interaction between groups and individuals formed in the sociocultural space on the basis of understanding/misunderstanding, likes/dislikes and manifested in behavior as the degree of their remoteness/ closeness. At the same time, social distance is the basis of social differentiation of subjects, represents a spatial characteristic of interpersonal interaction and provides personal development, the formation of adaptive mechanisms and indicators of psychological and social health.


social distance, history of sociology, theoretical sociology, social groups


Anastasiya O. Diny, Postgraduate Student of the Department of Sociology and Psychology, Irkutsk National Research Technical University, Irkutsk, Russia;

Elena N. Struk, Doctor of Philosophy, Head of Department of Sociology and Psychology, Irkutsk National Research Technical University, Irkutsk, Russia.

For citation:

Diny A.O. Struk E.N. The research tradition of studying the phenomenon of social distance in social knowledge // Social Competence. 2022. Vol. 7. No. 1. p. 83–94.


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