Dementia and the inter-embodied self

Nick Jenkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

In the twenty-first century, new forms of community in dementia are emerging. The existence of these communities challenges the individualisation of the self, which has come to characterise ‘person-centred’ approaches to dementia care over the past 30 years. In this article, an alternative approach (the inter-embodied self) is presented. This approach to promoting selfhood in dementia is based on the premise that the self is not an intrinsic aspect of embodied Being but is instead a transactive phenomenon, which exists in a perpetual state of becoming. As such, the primary goal of practitioners should not be the fixing, reviving or re-unifying of a pre-morbid self but, instead, enabling a rich and polyphonic montage of selves to emerge. Drawing on a short documentary film about experiences of friendship in dementia, the article concludes by highlighting the potential contribution of the inter-embodied self to contemporary dementia care.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Theory & Health
Early online date20 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2014

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • dementia
  • dividuality
  • intercorporeality
  • dialogical selfhood
  • ethic of care
  • person-centred care


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