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Social class, dementia and the fourth age

Jones, Ian Rees ORCID: 2017. Social class, dementia and the fourth age. Sociology of Health and Illness 39 (2) , pp. 303-317.

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Research addressing social class and dementia has largely focused on measures of socioeconomic status as causal risk factors for dementia and in observed differences in diagnosis, treatment and care. This large body of work has produced important insights but also contains numerous problems and weaknesses. Research needs to take account of the ways in which ageing and social class have been transformed in tandem with the economic, social and cultural coordinates of late modernity. These changes have particular consequences for individual identities and social relations. With this in mind this article adopts a critical gaze on research that considers interactions between dementia and social class in three key areas: (i) epidemiological approaches to inequalities in risk (ii) the role of social class in diagnosis and treatment and (iii) class in the framing of care and access to care. Following this, the article considers studies of dementia and social class that focus on lay understandings and biographical accounts. Sociological insights in this field come from the view that dementia and social class are embedded in social relations. Thus, forms of distinction based on class relations may still play an important role in the lived experience of dementia.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: dementia; Alzheimer's; social class; inequalities; social inequalities in health status; ageing
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
ISSN: 0141-9889
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 25 October 2016
Date of Acceptance: 8 September 2016
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 06:54

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