Interactional strategies for progressing through quizzes in dementia settings

Joseph Webb*, Camilla Lindholm, Val Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
64 Downloads (Pure)


People with early-to-mid stage dementia frequently attend groups that provide opportunities for socialising and engaging in activities, such as quizzes. This article uses conversation analysis to investigate the interactional strategies that the staff use in order to initiate and keep these quizzes ‘on track’, and what they orient to as impediments and facilitators of quiz progression. Specifically, we outline how staff deal with incorrect or ‘non answers’, and what happens when players have their own goals or ‘projects’ that do not align with staff members’ orientations to the overarching activity completion. We reflect on the tensions that arise between doing interactional work to progress through the quiz, and how that goal can conflict with attending to the needs or wishes expressed by the person living with dementia, resulting in threats to the ‘face’ of the quiz players. Data are taken from a corpus of ten quizzes recorded in four different group settings in England.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-522
Number of pages20
JournalDiscourse Studies
Issue number4
Early online date1 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020

Structured keywords

  • SPS Norah Fry Centre for Disability Studies


  • conversation analysis
  • face work
  • dementia
  • quiz
  • support practices


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