Thinking and talking differently

Ruth Bartlett and Deborah O’Connor

in Broadening the dementia debate

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9781847421784
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301561 | DOI:
Thinking and talking differently

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This chapter demonstrates how examining the situation of people with dementia from a socio-political perspective rooted in social theories of lifecourse, disability, and citizenship can change the way people think about those with dementia. It examines the ideas of post-structuralism to determine the power of language for constructing how people think and act. It identifies some of the problematic and limiting ways that language is implicitly used to understand dementia experiences. It emphasizes the need to investigate how people use language to tease out the underlying assumptions, values, and beliefs that guide people in understanding and interacting with those who have dementia. It also discusses alternative ways for reframing and using language differently, to draw on ideas more consistent with a critical social citizenship approach.

Keywords: dementia; socio-political perspective; social theories; citizenship; lifecourse; disability; language; social citizenship

Chapter.  8575 words. 

Subjects: Gerontology and Ageing

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