Talk, loss, and identity

Shakespeare, Pam (2004). Talk, loss, and identity. Illness, Crisis and Loss, 12(1) pp. 10–22.




This article examines some extracts of talk by older people diagnosed with dementing illnesses and explores the extent to which various features of their talk can be understood as some kind of loss. The data corpus consists of minimal responses, problematic repair work, and identity claims and counterclaims in occasioned talk. To elucidate its theme, the article uses the concept of full membership in an ethonomethodological sense and a contverstaional analytic typology of discourse, situated and transportable identities. The article concludes that while confusion is a recognizable and transient feature of ordinary talk, it may become apermanent part of the identity of some speakers.

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