Meaning of Distancing

What is Distancing:

Distancing is the action of creating a physical or emotional space between two bodies.

Distancing is a concept used in dramaturgy, sociology, psychology, design, and architecture.

The word distancing derives from the word distance whose origin in Latin is composed of the prefix dis- indicating distancing, from the root sta, part of the verb stare which means to be and the suffix -ntia indicating quality. Along with the suffix -I lie which refers to a result, distancing would refer to the result of the quality of being distant or far away.

The distancing in dramaturgy was incorporated by the poet and playwright Bertolt Brecht as a way to push the theater into the twentieth century by calling it the theater of the scientific age.

The Jewish sociologist Norbert Elías in his book Engagement and distancing: essays in the sociology of knowledge published in 1990 refers to the extreme rationality of the human being as a central aspect of the relationship between distance and commitment to society.

In psychology, emotional distancing is studied both as a form of protection from an aggressor, unhealthy family habits, and a form of empathy to overcome separation in a love relationship.

In design and architecture, distancing is one of the foundations in the interrelation of forms where each element is separated from the next element without undergoing contact with each other. The other forms of interrelation of the forms are: the touch, the overlap, the penetration, the union, the intersection and the coincidence.

See also:

  • Design
  • Architecture

The distancing effect

The distancing effect (in German: verfremdungseffekt) was developed by the German playwright and poet Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) as a path to the theater of the scientific age as opposed to the traditional Aristotelian theater.

Bertolt Brecht is the founder of epic theater, also called dialectical theater, where he applies the technique of emotional distancing from the viewer to deny the illusion of the play as a tool to reach catharsis, a form of purification and liberation of negative emotions .

The distancing criticizes the theater that traditionally developed according to the protagonist's point of view, failing to create a reflection today, causing the absence of dialectics as an important point of the theater.

Bretchian distancing is a form of theater that validates the work as a fiction to lead the public to not recognize the known, to place the characters in situations outside of their historical routine, culture and ideological behaviors in which they find themselves to awaken a critical attitude , in other words, to rescue the lost dialectic.

Characteristics of Brecht's distancing

  • The actors resort to a third-person speech for the development of their characters.
  • The actors show the character instead of becoming them. Opposed to Stanislavsky's "I am".
  • The distance of the theatrical discourse is intensified by using other types of languages ​​such as: the poetry of the lyrics of the songs, the sound, rhythm, melody and harmony of the music.
  • Validate the work as a fact of fiction constructed through the materiality of the body for fun and reflection.
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