I'd rather be a cyborg than an "individual" with dementia: exploring critical posthumanism and its application to dementia policy and practice

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Within our dementia policy and practice communities, efforts to challenge stigma and advance social justice are characterised, predominantly, by appeals to the essential humanity of people living with progressive neurocognitive conditions. Normative concepts such as Personhood and Social Citizenship, for example, increasingly underpin national and international dementia policies; providing conceptual frameworks for challenging de-humanization and promoting rights-based approaches to diagnosis, care and support. Yet, this paper will argue that since the early 19th century, appealing to the human in relation to dementia has served as something of a double edged sword; on the one hand, providing dementia communities with practical and theoretical frameworks for advancing social justice whilst, on the other hand, re-enforcing implicit and normative understandings of what it means to Be a person that, ultimately, serve to position people with dementia as deficient. Drawing on key principles associated with critical posthumanism, this paper will explore the extent to which dementia communities need to move beyond the human in their pursuit of equality and social justice. In so doing, it will consider how critical posthumanist approaches to constructing persons may provide new and practical avenues for generating socially progressive caring relationships within our (increasingly) digital societies.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2017
EventAging Graz 2017 International Conference: Cultural Narratives, Process & Strategies in Representations of Age and Aging - University of Graz and Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria
Duration: 27 Apr 201730 Apr 2017


ConferenceAging Graz 2017 International Conference
Abbreviated titleAging Graz 2017
Internet address


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