Doing the unknown. Spa activities in a nursing homes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An ethnomethodological point of departure is that people rely on shared knowledge when mutually accomplishing everyday situations. Whereas most residents in a nursing home have a reasonable previous knowledge of events such as bingo or Christmas dinners, other activities such as pub evenings and spa activities are unfamiliar. Using ethnographic data from a Swedish nursing home with a “sport and spa” profile, this article investigates the challenges of arranging spa activities, an activity often unknown among residents. The findings show how residents’ lack of spa knowledge was found to cause problems, especially when they did not interpret the indexical expressions as intended. Where Garfinkel’s indexicality is predicated on actors being able to use shared knowledge, this study demonstrates that a lack of shared knowledge enables some actors to reshape the activity they wish to accomplish.
Original languageSwedish
Pages (from-to)86-104
JournalQualitative Sociology Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Social Work

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