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date: 23 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines how intimacy permeates individuals’ everyday interactions, creating the collaborative foundation for romantic and sexual, but also many other types of relationships. Specifically, the chapter explores intimacy—defined as an emergent sense of closeness and shared identity—as a processual phenomenon that occurs in interaction at various and simultaneous spatiotemporal scales. In this perspective, intimacy is (co)constructed in ordinary conversations between friends and spouses, as well as in interviews and healing performances. After a brief literature review on intimacy and closeness in linguistic anthropology and sociolinguistics, the discussion turns to case studies in Senegal and the United States to demonstrate how intimacy emerges as a collaborative interactive phenomenon in everyday interaction.

Keywords: intimacy, closeness, everyday interaction, relationships, spatiotemporal scales, Senegal, United States

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