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An Ethnographic Study in a Dental Practice Through a Cultural-Historical Activity Perspective

In this paper we elaborate on the notion of dental clinics (health service) as activity systems and how different activity systems (dental clinics) relate to each other. Field notes from a nine-months ethnographic study in a dental office compose the database for this study. We elaborate on the notion that a dental treatment is conducted through different states as part of a network of different activity systems, where the patient is one of the acting subjects. We demonstrate how the activity system of the dental clinic is arranged through a complex division of labor and how this division of labor promotes the emergence of conflicts and contradictions on the patient's health care pathway.

Ardenghi, D. M., Roth, W.-M., & Pozzer-Ardenghi, L. (manuscript submitted for publication).

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