Definition of social distance in English:

social distance


  • [mass noun] The perceived or desired degree of remoteness between a member of one social group and the members of another, as evidenced in the level of intimacy tolerated between them.

    ‘material differences provided members with a constant stimulus for social distance’
    • ‘Language is the principal means by which social distance is established and maintained.’
    • ‘Both Sinhala and Tamil contain a range of linguistic markers for status as well as relative social distance and intimacy.’
    • ‘It can lead to bitter divisions and increase the psychological and social distance between the haves and the have nots.’
    • ‘Whether by design or by chance, whatever social distance we'd started with rapidly vanished.’
    • ‘The chief advantage inherent in the author's participant-observer role was that it minimized the social distance between her and other group members.’
    • ‘Yet this alertness makes him observe the material world from very close quarters, whatever his social distance.’
    • ‘For instance, do we see insanity as illness, or as an extreme form of social distance?’
    • ‘Gordon Allport argued that intergroup contact leads to increases in animosity and social distance, unless the contact fosters acquaintance and intergroup bonds.’
    • ‘We believe that these objective characteristics can nonetheless serve as a useful proxy measure of social distance in telephone interviews.’
    • ‘The social distance between classes has traditionally been extreme, and peasants or workers were expected to show deference toward members of the political and landowning elite.’
    • ‘Their geographic isolation is matched by even greater social distance.’
    • ‘Questions in these surveys are generally used to obtain data on various topics, including stereotypes, social distance, intergroup contact, and discrimination.’
    • ‘The intimate social distance between the teacher and the students implies that the teacher showed her students she belonged to their community and to their culture.’
    • ‘The social distance between racial groups is not as great as other studies suggest it is.’
    • ‘The use of space in relation to social distance is a major feature of Libyan custom.’
    • ‘The policy creates conditions that reinforce stereotypes, difference, and social distance.’
    • ‘Perhaps a conscious attempt to decrease the perceived social distance between interviewers and respondents would help to improve self report validity.’
    • ‘Thus, treatment and comparison students were roughly equivalent in their perceptions of social distance from their classmates with the exception of the preps and the jocks.’
    • ‘‘Going back 50,000 years, social distance from a group could lead to death and it still does for most infant mammals,’ Lieberman said.’
    • ‘Can we infer, as a hypothesis, that the incidence of profanity probably increased with social distance from educated circles?’