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Out of Time: the perceived loss of self in dementia patients in the United Kingdom and United States


This thesis examines the phenomenological aspects of dementia patients who are living out their lives with decreasing lucidity in the world around them. Popular tropes surrounding dementia consider the diagnosis a living death sentence. In this paper, I hope to illustrate the lived-experience of individuals suffering from the disease and combatting the opinion that they have lost their personhood in a culture idealizing autonomy and independence. I propose using Douglas Hollan’s framework of selfscapes to better conceptualize the embodied experience of dementia. In so doing, I will expose the flaws of Bourdieu’s habitus for the phenomenological consideration of individuals who may be temporally dislocated from “objective reality” and explore how the phenomenological misperception of Cartesian dualities encourage the decline of personhood in anthropological paradigms of embodiment.

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