Animal Definitions of Territoriality



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Animal Definitions of Territoriality

  • Burt (1943) Territory is the protective part of the home range/area around the home site over which the animal normally travels.

  • Hediger (1950, 1961) Area animal lives in and prevents other members of his species from entering.

  • McBride (1964) Fixed geographic areas maintained and defended against other species members.


Human Definitions of Territoriality

  • Sommer (1966) Area controlled or actual possession by an individual, family or group. The area is personalized or marked in some way.

  • Altman (1967-1974) Mutually exclusive use of area/objects by persons/groups.



Territoriality

  • Problems/Issues

    • Definitions based on active defense do not seem appropriate for most human behaviour.
    • Effects of deterritorialization highlight the importance of territoriality (e.g., culture shock, deaths in Hmong refugees, discharged psychiatric patients, etc.)


Animal/Human Similarities in Territoriality

  • Home territories used for specific behaviours (e.g., rearing of young).

  • Relationship between size of territory and social status.



Animal/Human Differences in Territoriality

  • Rarity of total invasion/occupation of territory in animals.

  • Humans can engage in warfare without trespass.

  • Humans admit others to home territory.

  • Rarity of territory related fighting on the human individual level.



Functions of Territoriality

  • Group identity/bonding

  • Role/status setting

  • Control (e.g., defensible space, deterritorialization, geographic profiling)




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