The mask of dementia: Images of 'demented residents' in a nursing ward

Hava Golander, Aviad E. Raz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


A description of the social construction of dementia among elderly residents of a nursing ward is offered, based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in an Israeli geriatric centre. This account focuses on the construction of positive social identities and the ascription of roles for residents labelled as 'demented'. The findings illustrate the split between personal and social identity in dementia. The applicability of conventional socio-psychological constructs such as 'I' and 'me' regarding dementia is questioned, as the spoken manifestations of these constructs is critically examined from a symbolic interactionist perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-285
Number of pages17
JournalAgeing and Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Dementia
  • Nursing ward
  • Social construction
  • Social/personal identities
  • Symbolic interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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