Beachwatching

1988 Rambletree Press: Hove

Beaches are the perfect place to study human behaviour. They are public so observation is easy and enjoyable. The presence of different nationalities and the absence, in varying degrees, of clothing - so useful for sending out signals about status - means that body language is the chief means of communication.

Beaches can be crowded and crowds often bring aggression and violence, yet in general beaches are peaceful places. Why? We build barriers and boundaries with towels and beach umbrellas to preserve our territory and we observe unspoken rules of behaviour in close proximity to semi-naked strangers.

'The Canderel Guide to Beach Watching' also discusses the propensity for splashing and horseplay which breaks out amongst otherwise mature adults whenever they are near water, and explores the fascinating phenomenon of postural echo in couples.

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Reviews

‘The thinking man's Desmond Morris.’ 
Glasgow Herald, 1988