Bridging the gap between clinical and critical sociological perspectives in dementia

Noel Collins, James Rupert Fletcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is a widening gap between the medical model of dementia and critical sociological perspectives of the condition. Given the relative failure of reductionism in dementia and its rising prevalence, consideration of the utility of these critical viewpoints is warranted. This article considers how these ideas, which challenge some prevailing assumptions about dementia, can be meaningfully applied in conjunction, rather than in competition, with conventional clinical ideas. To illustrate this, current perspectives on selfhood, biopolitics, citizenship and post-humanism are discussed. This article may also help to articulate sociologically oriented approaches already used by some clinicians and legitimise the time and attention needed to explore and deliver these. We support the view that dementia is an episteme in the making and that different traditions and dispositions can fruitfully collide to enliven interdisciplinary conversations about dementia and dementia care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-133
Number of pages10
JournalBJPsych Advances
Issue number2
Early online date14 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2024


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