A territorial behaviour found in the higher primates
As the name suggests, it consists of occupying a
position on the outskirts of one's territory
and behaviours designed to convince
any would-be intruders
that the territory is already
The classic example is the chest-beating exhibited by
some apes, as in the riverside boundary-posturing
scene in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
It is possible some more esoteric forms of this
exist in the human sphere.
For example, I once
read a paper which studied the numbers of
various different kinds of scientists who were
religious. Physicists were the most religious,
at about 30 percent, then chemists, then biologists
and so on, up the reductionist hierarchy
of disciplines. Least religious of all were the social
psychologists and sociologists, at around 2-3 percent.
The authors of the paper took this to indicate
boundary posturing by the sociologically motivated,
seeking to defend their intellectual territory against
competition from theologians and priests.
I am sure there is significant work to be done on boundary posturing and Usenet.
See also: social grooming