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Collaborative RememberingTheories, Research, and Applications$
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Michelle L. Meade, Celia B. Harris, Penny Van Bergen, John Sutton, and Amanda J. Barnier

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198737865

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198737865.001.0001

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Memories and Identities in Conversation with Dementia

Memories and Identities in Conversation with Dementia

(p.157) Chapter 9 Memories and Identities in Conversation with Dementia
Collaborative Remembering

Nicole Müller

Zaneta Mok

Oxford University Press

This chapter uses tools from Systemic Functional Linguistics to analyze how two women with dementia share autobiographical memories in conversation. Dialogic interaction is fundamental to human experience, and the sharing of memories is in essence a process of dialogic sense-making. Shared autobiographical stories are part of the dialogic construction and projection of public identities. Autobiographical talk in the conversation analyzed here is sketchy in terms of experiential detail, but rich in appraisal; it is used to construct positive past identities that reflect on present selves. In addition, identity projection and evaluative stances are dynamically adjusted in light of the conversation partner’s reactions, which points to intact dialogic sense-making skills in the presence of moderate dementia.

Keywords:   dementia, interaction, conversation, systemic functional linguistics, autobiographical memory, identity

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