Undergraduate students were assigned the task of spending from fifteen minutes to an hour in their homes viewing its activities while assuming that they were boarders in the household. They were instructed not to act out the assumption. Thirty-three students reported their experiences. [. . .]
“A short, stout man entered the house, kissed me on the cheek and asked, “How was school?” I answered politely. He walked into the kitchen, kissed the younger of two women, and said hello to the other. The younger woman asked me “What do you want for dinner, honey?” I answered, “Nothing.” She shrugged her shoulders and said no more. The older woman shuffled around the kitchen muttering. The man washed his hands, sat down at the table, and picked up the paper. He read until the two women had finished putting the food on the table. The three sat down. They exchanged idle chatter about the day’s events. The older woman said something in a foreign language which made the others laugh.”
Harold Garfinkel: “Studies of the Routine Grounds of Everyday Activities.” Social Problems 11, 3 (1964).