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date: 23 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

An aging demographic in Western societies as well as globally has made public health issues, such as dementia, subject to hyperbolic metaphor such as “tsunami” and “time bomb.” This chapter reviews the state of knowledge regarding language, sexualities, aging, and chronic illness. In particular, the discussion focuses on discursive research from across the social sciences that furthers understandings of older people’s lives and experiences. The chapter highlights research that has focused on ageism and chronic conditions impacting older people (specifically, dementia and type 2 diabetes), including empirical research on these conditions, and on manifestations of heterosexism and heteronormativity in these contexts. Using illustrative examples that emphasize the intersection of discourse and issues that relate to aging, the chapter foregrounds this area as an important element of language and sexuality scholarship. Last, future directions for the development of research focusing on these topics are indicated.

Keywords: aging, chronic illness, conversation analysis, dementia, diabetes, discourse, metaphor, sexualities

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