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The Secret World of Doing Nothing - California Scholarship Online
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The Secret World of Doing Nothing

Orvar Lofgren and Billy Ehn


This reflection on “doing nothing” takes us on a tour of what is happening when, to all appearances, absolutely nothing is happening. Sifting through a wide range of examples drawn from literature, published ethnographies, and firsthand research, the authors probe the unobserved moments in our daily lives—waiting for a bus, daydreaming by the window, performing a routine task—and illuminate these “empty” times as full of significance. The book leads us to rethink the ordinary and find meaning in today's hypermodern reality.

Keywords: ethnographies, daily lives, unobserved moments, daydreaming, routine task, empty times, hypermodern reality

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2010 Print ISBN-13: 9780520262614
Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520262614.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Orvar Lofgren, author

Billy Ehn, author