The sociology of dementia is a relatively neglected but increasingly important topic in studies of health and illness. The 23rd Sociology of Health & Illness Monograph will bring together theoretical and empirical contributions to progress a distinctive sociological understanding of this rapidly developing and globally significant field. The Monograph will be published in 2017. It will address the following cross-cutting themes:
Dementia and the construction of personhood. Topics coming under this theme might include the social construction of dementia, the idea of dementia as the social death of the person and the usefulness of Tom Kitwood’s location of the ‘problem’ of dementia within a ‘malignant’ social psychology. Contributions are welcome that draw parallels and contrasts between dementia and other heath care conditions where agency and personhood are called into question.
The social representation of dementia. As dementia rises up the agenda of ‘globalisation’, contributions are solicited on the wider range of representations of this condition that go beyond the ‘conventional’ bifurcation between dementia as normal ageing and the ‘medical model’ as a neurological disorder. This could include issues concerning professional-patient interaction, the diagnostic process and the treatment of dementia. We particularly seek perspectives from the global south that situate dementia as a major challenge facing the global community.
The social framing of care. Contributions are invited on formal (paid) and informal (unpaid) care and on the role of professional discourses in ordering relationships between different groups engaged with the provision of care. We would also welcome contributions examining the social categorisation both of people with dementia and of those paid to look after them. We welcome contributions investigating the intersectional links between the care of people with dementia and issues of ethnicity, gender and power.
The social imaginary of a fourth age. We invite contributions examining dementia as an unsuccessful, failed and ‘frailed’ old age contrasted with successful, productive and active later life. Issues that we would expect to be addressed include the moral conflict between a ‘positive’ view of later life and those wary that such advocacy risks further marginalising those disadvantaged by dementia and disablement.
Editors: Paul Higgs and Chris Gilleard
The monograph will appear both as a regular issue of the journal and in book form in February 2017. Potential contributors should send an abstract of up to 600 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by 30th January 2015. Abstracts should clearly indicate the proposed paper’s sociological importance. Informal email enquiries prior to submission are welcome. Name and institutional affiliation of author(s) should also be supplied, including full contact details. Proposals will be reviewed and potential authors notified by 31 March 2015. Short-listed authors will be invited to submit their work by 31 July 2015. Submissions will be refereed in the usual way and should follow the journal’s style guidelines