Pia’s research program represents a convergence of several key interests: 1) the use of critical social theory and qualitative research methods (participant observation, interviews, focus groups) to examine the norms and assumptions underpinning care practices in long-term residential, rehabilitation, and community care settings; 2) the development of a relational model of citizenship which integrates insights from the fields of embodiment and dementia, citizenship, and human rights to address issues of social justice and state responsibility regarding the recognition and entitlements of individuals living with dementia; and 3) the development, implementation, and evaluation of arts-based initiatives (e.g. research-based theatre, film) to bridge her research on relationality, embodiment, and selfhood with the practice and ethics of dementia care.
Pia Kontos is a Senior Scientist at Toronto Rehab - UHN and is an Associate Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. She is a critical scholar committed to the transformation of long-term dementia care so it is more humanistic and socially just. She draws on the arts (e.g. music, dance, improvisational play) to enrich the lives of people living with dementia. She also creates research-based dramas to challenge structural violence in dementia care settings and to foster relational caring. She has presented and published across multiple disciplines on embodiment, relationality, ethics, and dementia.