- 1: something that indicates or fixes a limit or extent
A unit of real estate or immovable property is limited by a legal boundary. The boundary (in Latin: limes) may appear as a discontinuation in the terrain: a ditch, a bank, a hedge, a wall, or similar, but essentially, a legal boundary is a conceptual entity, a social construct, adjunct to the likewise abstract entity of property rights.
A cadastral map displays how boundaries subdivide land into units of ownership. However, the relations between society, owner, and land in any culture or jurisdiction is conceived of in terms more complex than a tessellation. Therefore, the society concerned has to specify the rules and means by which the boundary concept is materialized and located on the ground.
A 'Western' version of the operationalization might be a legally specified procedure, performed by a chartered surveyor, supported by statements from neighbors and pertinent documents, and resulting in official recording in the cadastre as well as boundary markings in the field. Alternatively, indigenous people represent boundaries through ephemeral performances, such as song and dance, and, when in more permanent form, e.g. paintings or carvings, in artistic or metaphorical manner.
Personal boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify for him- or herself what are reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave around him or her and how he or she will respond when someone steps outside those limits. They are built out of a mix of beliefs, opinions, attitudes, past experiences and social learning.
Personal boundaries define you as an individual, outlining your likes and dislikes, and setting the distances you allow others to approach. They include physical, mental, psychological and spiritual boundaries, involving beliefs, emotions, intuitions and self-esteem. Jacques Lacan considered them to be layered in a hierarchy, reflecting “all the successive envelopes of the biological and social status of the person” from the most primitive to the most advanced.
Boundaries of the mind refers to a personality trait concerning the degree of separateness (“thickness”) or connection (“thinness”) between mental functions and processes. Thin boundaries are associated with open-mindedness, sensitivity, vulnerability, creativity, and artistic ability. People with thin boundaries may tend to confuse fantasy and reality and tend to have a fluid sense of identity, so that they tend to merge or lose themselves in their relations with others. People with thick boundaries differentiate clearly between reality and fantasy and between self and other, and tend to prefer well-defined social structures. The concept was developed by psychoanalyst Ernest Hartmann from his observations of the personality characteristics of frequent nightmare sufferers.The construct has been particularly studied in relation to dream recall and lucid dreaming.