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Embodied spatial practices and everyday organization: The work of tour guides and their audiences

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-271
Number of pages24
Issue number2
Early online date9 May 2018
Accepted/In press9 Jan 2018
E-pub ahead of print9 May 2018
Published1 Feb 2019


King's Authors


This paper introduces an interactional perspective to the analysis of organisational space. The study is based on the analysis of over 100 hours of video recordings of guided tours undertaken within two sites (an historic house and a world-famous museum), coupled with interviews and field observations. The analysis is informed by ethnomethodology and conversation analysis in order to focus on the everyday organisation of these tours, and the lived experience of inhabiting museum spaces. We use an interactional lens to unpack the 'embodied spatial practices' critical to the work of tour guides and their audiences, which reveals how the sense and significance of the workspace emerges moment-to-moment, and in relation to the ongoing work at hand. As a result, for those with an interest in organisational space, the paper introduces a novel perspective, and methods, to highlight the dynamic and interactional production of workspaces. Additionally, for those with an interest in practice, the paper demonstrates the fundamental import of taking spatial arrangements seriously when analysing the organisation of work.

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