• Narrative collisions, sociocultural pressures and dementia: the relational basis of personhood reconsidered

      Tolhurst, Edward; Weicht, Bernhard; Kingston, Paul; Staffordshire University; University of Innsbruck; University of Chester (Wiley, 2017-02-08)
      The concept of personhood developed by Tom Kitwood highlights that the experience of dementia has relational dimensions that transcend the neurodegenerative impacts of the condition. This relational focus, however, has been narrowly conceptualised, with the impact of broader sociocultural factors on experience underplayed. The empirical exploration of interaction also requires reinforcement: a tendency for dyadic studies to portray findings in an individualised format hinders the interrogation of interpersonal negotiations. This article draws upon qualitative research that employed a joint interview approach, interviewing men with dementia and their spousal carers together. The focus on a dyadic case study from this research enables methodical exploration of the experience of living with dementia. This is realised by considering the socially-framed perspective of each person, and then how their perspectives are interwoven within interactional exchanges. This provides a platform for the evaluation of the current decontextualised notion of personhood and its implications. It is concluded that a sociologically informed perspective can help to reinforce the academic understanding of personhood.