Forgetting and the memory of forgetting: The material and symbolic role of memory in the intersubjective lives of people with AIDS dementia

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Abstract
In death-driven narratives of AIDS, phenomenological losses experienced as a result of changes to memory with AIDS dementia remain uncharted. Traditionally in the field of dementia, memory has been viewed as a neurological skill to be measured and charted, categorized into short-term or long-term memory loss. In this article, a relationship-based approach to memory is taken where memory is understood to play an important material and symbolic role in the lives of people with AIDS dementia and their relationships with significant others. Through ethnographic description, this article details how for two informants ¿ Diane and Andrew ¿ forgetting and the memory of forgetting was central to how they made sense of who they were in relationship to others and others in relationship to them. For them, memory was more than an individual cerebral activity. Memory, and loss of memory, was instrumental to intersubjective life and formed part of a social space of living loss, characterized by liminality.
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Kelly, Angela
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Publication Year
2008
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Journal Article
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