Flirting is most socially acceptable at parties, celebrations and social occasions/functions. At some such events (e.g. Christmas/New Year parties) a degree of flirtatious behaviour is not only socially sanctioned, but almost expected.
This is because most parties, celebrations, carnivals and festivals are governed by a special code of behaviour which anthropologists call 'cultural remission' - a temporary, structured relaxation of normal social controls and restrictions.
This might just sound like a fancy way of saying 'letting your hair down', but it isn't. 'Cultural remission' does not mean abandoning all your inhibitions, letting rip and behaving exactly as you please. There are rules of behaviour at even the wildest carnival - although they may involve a complete reversal of normal, everyday social etiquette. Flirtatious behaviour which is normally frowned upon may be actively required, and prissy refusal to participate may incur disapproval.
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