Listening with feeling: emotional labour and digital storytelling in dementia care education

Nicole Matthews, Naomi Sunderland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In this chapter, the authors explore the emotional labor associated with listening to personal stories. They show that using stories of lived experience to change professional practice and service provision is a promising but challenging process, requiring careful thinking through. The authors explain Megan Boler’s concepts of ‘testimonial listening’ and ‘the pedagogy of discomfort’ to think through these processes. They argue that listening to ‘Classic’ digital stories can evoke a range of emotions – not just empathy but sometimes also defensiveness, shame, and/or distress. The authors show the power of personal stories to shock listeners and bring them to a new awareness of others’ lived experiences is often used deliberatively in health care settings. If digital stories stir up emotions, and not always a warm sense of fellow feeling, helping health professionals make sense of their emotional reactions to the testimony of patients is key to changing practices.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStill here
Subtitle of host publicationmemoirs of trauma, illness and loss
EditorsBunty Avieson, Fiona Giles, Sue Joseph
Place of PublicationNew York ; London
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis Group
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780429201707, 9780429510373
ISBN (Print)9780367193188
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameRoutledge Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Literature


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