Critical Dementia Studies : An Introduction book cover
1st Edition

Critical Dementia Studies
An Introduction

  • Available for pre-order on February 16, 2023. Item will ship after March 9, 2023
ISBN 9781032118802
March 9, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
320 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book puts the critical into dementia studies. It makes a timely and novel contribution to the field, offering a provocative and thought-provoking critique of current thinking and debate on dementia. Collectively the contributions gathered together in this text make a powerful case for a more politically engaged, deconstructive and critical treatment of dementia and the systems and structures that currently govern and frame it.

The book is interdisciplinary and draws together leading dementia scholars alongside dementia activists from around the world. It frames dementia as first and foremost a political category. The book advances both theoretical and methodological thinking in the field as well as sharing learning from empirical research. Outlining the limits to existing efforts to frame and theorise the condition it proposes a new critical movement for the field of dementia studies and practice.

The book will be of direct interest to researchers and scholars in the field of dementia studies and wider fields of health, disability and care. It will provide a novel resource for students and practitioners in the fields of dementia, health care and social care. The book also has implications for dementia policymaking, commissioning and community development.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Why critical dementia studies and why now?

Part I: Reclaiming and recasting 

1. I want to be the orchestrator of my entire fabulous life

2. Small quantities at a time: On music, poetry and social media

3. Who knew a pothole could bring it all back?

4. Nobody is allowed to offend us – not by language, nor by attitude

5. Recognizing Birkby: Living and caring with dementia

Part II: Re/framing 

6. ‘Lost in time like tears in rain’: Critical Perspectives on Personhood and Dementia 

7. Multi-Species Dementia Studies: How moving beyond human exceptionalism can advance dementia's more critical turn 

8. Reframing 'ethnicity' in dementia research: Reflections on current whiteness of research and the need for an anti-racist approach 

9. Frames of Dementia, grieving otherwise in The Father, Relic and Supernova: Representing dementia in recent film 

Part III: Care and control 

10. Precarity and Dementia 

11. An Emerging Necropolitics of the Dementias 

12. Segregation and Incarceration of People Living with Dementia in Care Homes: Critical Disability and Human Rights Approaches 

13. The carnival is not over: cultural resistance in dementia care environments 

Part IV: Forging alliances  

14. Convergences, Collaborations, and Co-conspirators: The Radical Potentiality of Critical Disability Studies and Critical Dementia Studies 

15. Thinking dementia differently: Dialogues between feminist scholarship and dementia studies 

16. Revolutionising dementia policy and practice: Guidance from ‘the memory girl’, an accomplice 

17. Taking a Queer Turn – the significance of Queer Theory for Critical Dementia Studies   

18. Neurodiversity and dementia: Pitfalls, possibilities and some personal notes 

19. Thinking back and looking ahead: Co-ordinates for critical methodologies in dementia studies 

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Richard Ward is Senior Lecturer in Dementia Studies at the University of Stirling and Head of Division for Ageing and Dementia. He is a registered social worker who specialised in working with older people living with dementia. Richard’s research interests include social care practice, the experience of living with dementia, and how place-based experience can influence the lives of people with chronic and progressive conditions. Richard is part of a network of academics with a shared interest in studying the international development of dementia friendly communities. He is also co-founder of the Critical Dementia Studies Network. His recently published book is: Ward R, Clark A & Phillipson L (eds.) (2021) Dementia and place: practices, experiences and connections.

Linn J. Sandberg is Associate Professor in Gender Studies and Senior Lecturer in the School of Culture and Education, Södertörn University, Sweden. Sandberg’s research interests are in the field of ageing, gender, sexuality, embodiment and dementia. Some of her most recent research include a qualitative interview study on sexual and intimate couple relationship after the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease. Currently she is the Principal Investigator of a project on LGBTQ people with dementia and Swedish dementia care, funded by the Swedish research council for Health, Working life and Welfare (FORTE). Sandberg is the co-founder of the Critical Dementia Studies network ( together with Richard Ward, and co-managing editor of the book series Critical Dementia Studies.