Sociability and distinction: An ethnographic study of a French nursing home

Baptiste Brossard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


How do residents' previous social positions influence the ways in which they deal with social life in nursing home? Based on observations and interviews in a private nursing home in France, this article describes daily life in the facility, the disability-based distinctions observed among residents, the strategies they use to "find their place," and the references they make about their former social position in collective encounters. It shows that sociability in nursing homes is structured by the intertwining of "levels of disability" among residents, the social composition of the institution and its local surroundings, and the relative value attributed to each type of capital (in the sense of Bourdieu) in this context. The author proposes some assumptions that aim to generalize these specific findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-28
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Aging Studies
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


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