Whose story is it anyway? Following everyday accounts of living with dementia on social media
Authors: Thomas, B.
This article will focus on an analysis of everyday accounts of living with dementia found on Twitter. The discussion aims to address specific issues of control raised by these narratives, both in terms of the ownership and distribution of the stories, and in terms of the sense of self these accounts may provide. The article will reflect on the specific methodological issues raised in analysing the small stories found on social media, especially in so far as they challenge traditional narrative categories. It also engages in depth with the ethical issues raised by researching dementia narratives, particularly as regards consent and any attempt to (re)construct some kind of unitary meaning from the fragments and traces of the self these narratives may provide. The discussion aims to go beyond the language and style of the individual narratives to explore the contexts in which the narratives are taken up and circulated. It also aims to consider how far these stories of the self offer an alternative to dominant versions of the illness narrative that focus on transformation and growth, to provide powerful insights into the everyday realities of living with dementia.