Haptics refers to the study of the use of "touches". Haptics deals with touching behaviour in different societies.
While haptics can be hostile (such as kicking), more often haptic behaviour is used to indicate the degree of intimacy: Heslin (1974), distinguished between the following degrees of intimacy: 1. functional/professional 2. social/polite 3. friendship/warmth 4. love/intimacy 5. sexual arousal
One example of a typically confusing heptic action is the hand shake. The handshake differs in degrees, length and strength between the various levels of intimacy (or gets completely replaced by more intimate heptic behaviour), and from culture to culture
List of books: Haptics