In the earlier edition of this book, this discussion of space and social interaction focused on two general issues: (a) correlates of spatial behavior and (b) the consequence of manipulating spatial arrangements. That provided a practical and convenient way of dividing the research on spatial behavior, but it lacked an integrative theoretical theme. In the present chapter we hope to correct that shortcoming by developing our discussion around a broad functional perspective. It is interesting to note that the final discussion in the previous chapter anticipated the functional approach that we take in this chapter. Specifically, in the section on future prospects were the following comments by Patterson (1978):

Recently we have developed different aspects of a functional approach to nonverbal behavior (Edinger & Patterson, 1983; Patterson, 1982a, b); that functional perspective provides an organizing theme in the present chapter for our analysis of research on spatial behavior. Before reviewing that body of research, it is necessary to discuss briefly the essentials of the functional model (Patterson, 1982b).