Setting up temporary places

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Lawn scene in Virginia

If we setup a picnic blanket, or if we rearrange chairs on a porch, we set up a temporary place which has its own social grammar. By a few gestures we establish zones of action, we create borders, we set up dimensions of approach and avoidance. The place is temporary, but there are norms, usually informal, so that over there is where we will set, and if you move that chair that way you will be making a statement about your role in the conversation, and so on.