Spatializing gossip as chaotic and multiple liminal space

Yihan Liu*, Ziyun Fan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


How do we understand gossip as spatialization processes? How can we address such processes through liminal space? In this paper, we challenge the trap of social determinism in understanding gossip and argue that gossip should be conceptualized through the mutual constitution and contestations between social relations and space. We draw on a three-month participant observation case study to explore such interactive processes and relations through the lens of liminal space. This paper contributes to the existing literature on gossip by addressing the overlooked importance of ‘space’ in theorizing and understanding gossip. We emphasize that space acts as a localized context for and an active participant in enabling or constraining social interactions for gossip. In doing so, we explore the theoretical potential and empirical possibility of theory blending of liminal space and gossip that can shed light on future research on unmanaged and marginalized social practices in organizations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number001872672211122
Pages (from-to)1714 –1738
Number of pages25
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number11
Early online date24 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2023


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