School of English

Image of Emma Putland

Emma Putland

Research Student,


Research Summary

Current Status

PhD (full-time) - currently registered

Research Topic

Sociolinguistics, specifically current representations of, and responses to, dementia.

Research Summary

My thesis aims to examine, through combining a range of approaches, how people living with dementia, as well as dementia as a topic, are visually and linguistically portrayed in British society, and the impact that these representations can have. Using corpus and critical discourse analysis, I analyse how British charities and the press currently represent dementia, alongside working with focus groups to consider a variety of other people's perspectives and personal engagements. Throughout my project, I ask the following key research questions:

  1. How do British charities and the British press represent dementia and people with dementia? What discourses are popularly reproduced by the two social institutions, and how are these visually and linguistically realised?
  2. What kinds of relationships do these two institutions and their discourses have, and how are they perceived by different members of the public?
  3. How do my findings of dementia discourses relate to the interpretations, opinions and experiences of a range of different individuals, notably people with a lived experience of dementia, those who are carers and/or related to someone with dementia, and individuals without personal experience of dementia?

Research Interests

Sociolinguistics (especially regarding communicating health, gender and age)



Combining methodologies and approaches. These include using focus groups, interviews and textual analysis, as well as corpus linguistics, (multimodal) critical discourse analysis and thematic analysis.

Research Supervisors

Dr Kevin Harvey

Dr Daniel Hunt

Professor Tom Dening

Primary Funding Source

AHRC Midlands 3 Cities Doctoral Training Partnership

Research Institutes, Centres and/or Research Clusters Memberships

Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics

Centre for Dementia

Institute of Mental Health

Stylistics and Discourse Analysis Reading Group

School of English

Trent Building
The University of Nottingham
University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5900