Logo of "the vicarage by the sea" celebrating its 25th anniversary, featuring an illustration of two people standing at an open door looking out to the sea, symbolizing support for individuals living with dementia.

Dr. Wigg

Dr. Johanna Wigg, PhD,
Social Gerontologist

President, The Vicarage by the Sea, Inc.
9 Vicarage Lane
Harpswell, Maine 04079
Home: (207) 833-6178
Office: (207) 833-5480
Cell: (207) 671-0847
E-mail: jwigg@thevicaragebythesea.com

Dr. Johanna Wigg, co-founder of The Vicarage by the Sea


Brandeis University

Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology. 2007 Dissertation: “A Culture of Dementia: Examining Interpersonal Relationships Between Elders Living with Dementia.”
Committee: Peter Conrad (chair), Sarah Lamb, Stefan Timmermans, Sara Shostak
Areas of Concentration: Social Gerontology, Social Psychology, Gender Studies, Feminist Theory

Brandeis University

M.A. Joint degree in Sociology and Women’s Studies. 2001

Mount Holyoke College

B.A. Cum Laude. 1993
Major: Women’s Studies

Teaching Experience

Visiting Assistant Professor: Bowdoin College

Spring 2008 – Introduction to Sociology (SOC 101) Aging and Society (SOC 231)

Adjunct Lecturer: Bowdoin College

Spring 2009 – Introduction to Sociology (SOC 101)
Fall 2007 – Introduction to Sociology (SOC 101)
Spring 2007 – Introduction to Sociology (SOC 101)

Lecturer: Bradford College

Fall 1997 – Social Problems (SOC 181), Gender and Society (Soc 361)
Fall 1996 – Complex Organizations (SOC 345)

Estella, wearing a purple jacket and red pants watering the ground with a silver can.


“From Demedicalization to Renaturalization: Dementia and Nature in Harmony,” with Peter Whitehouse, Danny George and Brett Joseph, in Mary Marshall and Jane Gilliard, eds., Fresh Air on My Face: Enabling People with Dementia to Reconnect with Nature, Jessica Kingsley Press,

“Liberating the Wanderers: Redefining Wandering by Using Technology to Unlock Doors for Those Living with Dementia,” in Kelly Joyce and Meika Loe, eds., Technogenarians: Studying Health and Illness Through an Ageing, Science, and Technology Lens, Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.

“Liberating the Wanderers: Redefining Wandering by Using Technology to Unlock Doors for Those Living with Dementia,” Sociology of Health and Illness, 32: 288-303, 2010.

“Intimacy among the Socially Dead: Examining Intimacy among Institutionalized Elders with Mid to Late Stage Dementia,” in Harry Blatterer and Julia Glass, eds., Times of Our Lives: Making Sense of Growing Up and Growing Old, Inter Disciplinary Press, 2010


The Tom Kitwood Memorial Address: Beyond the myth – imagining the new worlds of dementia, with Peter Whitehouse and Danny George. The 5th UK Dementia Congress, Bournemouth International Centre, Bournemouth, England, November, 2010.

Segregation versus Desegregation among the Demented: Impacts of Transitions on the Social Identities of Elders Living with Dementia. The British Sociological Association Annual Conference, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, Scotland, April 2010.

Intimacy Among the Socially Dead: Examining Intimacy among Elders with Mid to Late Stage Dementia. 1st Global Conference: Times of Our Lives: Growing Up and Growing Old, Mansfield College, Oxford, England, July 2009.

Business Experience

President, Founder: The Vicarage by the Sea, Inc.

Administration, Research, Education/Teaching, Direct Care. 1998 – Present


Peter J. Whitehouse, MD, PhD, Professor of Neurology, Case Western Reserve University, Whitehouse.
peter@gmail.com; tel. 216-844-6448

Susan Bell, A Myrick Freeman Professor of Social Sciences, Bowdoin College, sbell@bowdoin.edu; tel: 207-725-3292
Peter Conrad, Harry Coplan Professor of Social Sciences, Brandeis University, conrad@brandeis. edu; tel: 781-736-2653