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Publication Detail
In search of a hopeful future:: exploring meaning and power in dementia today
  • Publication Type:
    Conference presentation
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Libert S
  • Date:
  • Name of Conference:
    British Society of Gerontology 47th Annual Conference
  • Conference place:
    University of Manchester
  • Conference start date:
  • Conference finish date:
  • Keywords:
    Dementia, Prevention, Culture, Ageing, 4th Age
In January 2018, Pfizer interrupts its major participation in the race for a cure to dementia following the ‘continual setbacks’ faced in its attempt (Pfizer News, 2018). Unsurprisingly, the news causes an important disappointment among actors of the multiple major public-private endeavours composing the field of dementia research today. This example illustrates some aspects of the dominant political economy of hope (Good 2010) shaping this field, especially its international mobilization of efforts and capital around the collective social imaginary of a hopeful future for people with dementia. However, explorations of the dynamics of power shaping the production and circulation of meaning about dementia in this widespread mobilization remain limited among health, social and ageing sciences. Based on a PhD research exploring dementia, technologies and society, this presentation therefore wishes to stimulate these disciplines’ interest in conceptualizing power and meaning in such political economy, including their social and ethical dimensions. The turn towards more prevention, risk-tracking, early diagnosis and pre-dementia screening, the constitution and role of a biosociality (Rabinow 1996:99) around dementia, and their connection with the ideal of active ageing will be some of the themes covered. Such themes, illustrated by examples from various sources (newspapers, advertisement, policy and ethics reports, etc.), will be examined in relation to enlightening scientific theories. On the overall, this presentation wishes to engage a discussion with the audience on this matter to review/expand these arguments and inspire tracks for future research and public engagement.
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